Image: coronal mass ejections (CME).
The eruptive prominences of the Sun are huge geysers of solar material that take place on the chromosphere.
The Sun is a star that shines very brightly in the sky. But why does it shine?
The Sun is made up of gases, mainly hydrogen and helium. Inside the Sun there is great pressure and very high temperature. In fact, the temperature inside the Sun is so high that it can melt almost anything on Earth!
This high temperature and pressure causes the hydrogen atoms to come together and fuse together to form helium atoms. It's called nuclear fusion. This fusion releases a large amount of energy in the form of light and heat. It is this energy that makes the Sun shine!
Nuclear fusion is a very powerful process, but it only occurs under very special conditions, such as those found inside the Sun. In fact, this is the reason why there are no other sources of energy on Earth that are as powerful as the Sun.
The Sun has been shining for about 4.6 billion years and will continue to shine for several billion more years. It is thanks to this light and this heat that we have life on Earth. Sunlight allows plants to photosynthesise, which allows them to produce food, and the Sun's heat keeps our planet at a comfortable temperature for us to live on.
In summary, the Sun shines because hydrogen atoms fuse together to form helium atoms, which releases a large amount of energy in the form of light and heat. This energy is what keeps our planet alive!
The Sun has been shining for billions of years and will continue to shine for many years to come. To understand why it glows sustainably, we need to look at how it produces energy.
As we saw earlier, the Sun produces energy through nuclear fusion. In this reaction, hydrogen atoms fuse together to form helium atoms, releasing a large amount of energy. However, for this reaction to take place, the conditions inside the Sun must be very special, including very high pressure and temperature.
What is interesting is that this nuclear fusion is a very sustainable source of energy. Indeed, there is enough hydrogen in the Sun to keep it shining for several billion more years.
But that's not all ! The Sun is also very efficient at converting this energy into light and heat. In fact, it is more efficient than most other energy sources we use on Earth, such as fossil fuels.
The Sun shines permanently because it is in balance. It produces enough energy to glow and maintain its size and shape, but it doesn't produce too much either. If the Sun produced too much energy, it would swell and eventually explode. If it didn't produce enough, it would collapse on itself.
The Sun is therefore a model of energy efficiency and sustainability. It is a very important source of energy for life on Earth and we must take care of it. By using renewable energy sources, like solar power, we can help keep our planet healthy while benefiting from the Sun's light and warmth.