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Nuclear Fusion

A reaction that involves two atomic nuclei merging to create the nucleus of a new atom. The reaction is accompanied by a tremendous release of energy. The Sun’s energy, as with all stars, comes from nuclear fusion reactions that happen in its core. The reactions fuse hydrogen nuclei into helium nuclei. About 0.7 percent of the mass of the hydrogen is converted to energy, which makes the star shine.


Aries, the ram

Aries, the Ram October 4, 2011

Sun cutaway

Star Color and Energy May 21, 2010

Radio Programs

Oxygen Breathing a creation of the stars August 31, 2020

Twin Jewels The jewels of the northern crown May 24, 2020

Arneb Breathing the “ash” of dead stars March 29, 2020

Mintaka Big stars with bigger futures March 13, 2020

Alnilam A star that’s really a superstar March 12, 2020

Moon and Aldebaran Keeping a star in balance February 3, 2020

Moon and Spica A star’s busy final day December 19, 2019

Pollux Younger but “older” than the Sun December 7, 2019

Fusion Powering up the Sun October 10, 2019

Moon and Aldebaran Taking a trip into the future July 26, 2019

Moon and Antares An unsteady stellar giant June 15, 2019

Moon and Aldebaran Squeezing the heart of a star March 12, 2019

Moon and Antares Peeling the layers of a star February 25, 2019

Cobalt A bit of alchemy from the stars August 3, 2018

Lunar Eclipse II A repeat performance for the Moon January 20, 2018

Life of the Sun Our constantly changing Sun December 9, 2017

Moon and Regulus A star in the prime of life December 7, 2017

Neutrinos Zipping through the universe November 8, 2017

Moon and Aldebaran A stellar chemical factory November 5, 2017

Moon and Aldebaran The beginning of the end for a bright star October 8, 2017

Oxygen Breathing a creation of the stars July 24, 2017

Moon and Aldebaran The Moon faces the bull March 31, 2017

Making Elements IV Violent alchemy in the stars March 9, 2017

Making Elements III Heavy stars make heavy elements March 8, 2017

Making Elements II Making elements in the hearts of stars March 7, 2017

Moon and Aldebaran Things get complicated for a star September 20, 2016

More Hydrogen The most abundant element in the universe May 29, 2016

Featured Images

Abell 78, a planetary nebula

Last Round July 28, 2015

Rings and bubbles from a dying star

Jumping Through Hoops August 5, 2010

A Dose of Magnesium January 20, 2010