Can the Sun Explode?


Koji Sugihara, Zach Hotz, and Brandon Felton

The Sun is just an average, medium-sized star. But to us "earthlings" it is the source of heat, light, and the energy which allows for life on Earth. The Sun is about 147,000,000 km or 90,000,000 (90 million) miles away from Earth, although this distance changes as Earth moves around the Sun. If the Sun were to explode scientists think that the explosion would easily burn up most of the Solar System, including the Earth, which is only the third planet out from the Sun. This is because the Sun has a radius of 696,000 km, an energy output of 3.83 x 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Joules/Second and a mass of 1.99 x 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg. The Sun is a great ball of gas and the gases it's made of are Hydrogen and Helium, which are very explosive. Even if Earth were to somehow survive the blast, all life would probably eventually die, since the Sun is our source of light and energy.

But there is no reason to worry yourself about the sun exploding. Because the Sun is a "middle-aged" star (about 5 Billion years old) scientists think we have about another 5 Billion years or so before it gets old and explodes.

About the Authors

Koji Sugihara, Brandon Felton, and Zach Hotz are students in the Integrated Science II class at West Torrance High School.



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