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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

Iron Ironing out a heavy element February 20, 2023

Betelgeuse III Counting down the days for a supergiant January 11, 2023

Betelgeuse The spectacular life of a giant January 9, 2023

Helium-3 Future prospecting on the Moon July 29, 2022

Carbon Factory A carbon factory in the lion June 22, 2022

Moon and Spica Heating up the inside of a star November 28, 2021

Moon and Aldebaran Brewing up a key element August 29, 2021

Plum Brook NASA gets a nuclear reactor June 14, 2021

Alphecca Stellar siblings with different futures May 21, 2021

‘Gassy’ Sun The recipe for a star May 10, 2021

Final Days Turning up the stellar oven April 8, 2021

Third Dog Dumping chemicals into space January 13, 2021

Seeing Red Painting the universe red January 9, 2021

Capella A pair of bright, “puffy” stars October 25, 2020

Hamal Extra weight equals a shorter life October 24, 2020

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

Procyon A star at a transition point 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

Featured Images

Abell 78, a planetary nebula

Last Round July 28, 2015