The Weather Page

February 03, 2007|By FRANK ROYLANCE | FRANK ROYLANCE,Sun Reporter -- Weather Blogger

Online reader Polly McIlrath writes from frigid Detroit to ask about light and heat from the sun and stars: "If there is no oxygen in space, how do they keep burning?" Actually, there is oxygen in space, but that's another story. Fire does require oxygen, but fire's not what keeps stars (or the sun, our nearest star) gleaming. The light and heat come from thermonuclear fusion - the merging of hydrogen atoms at the sun's core to form helium. Think of the sun as your friendly neighborhood hydrogen bomb.

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