# The sun as an ongoing nuclear explosion

Can it be viewed as such? i.e. the sun as an ongoing nuclear explosion, essentially an extremely large hydrodon bomb. Or would it be more appropriate to view it as a nuclear reactor instead? Whatever it is, the traditional, intrinsic view of stars is obviously false as they are gases not solid.

Yes, it is a huge fusion machine, held together by gravity. What do you mean by the “traditional, intrinsic view of stars?”

Well, to me, the only difference between a reaction and an explosion is control. Possibly speed and duration, as well. But I don’t think there’s a fundamental line that can be drawn between the two.

What traditional view of stars sees them as solid?? That’s the first I’ve heard of it.

Stars are generally considered to be mostly made up of plasma, some time between elementary school when you learn about the three states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) and high school when you graduate you should have learned that there are actually four states of matter. [And maybe later you’d learn there are other states beyond that, too, but a huge portion of “baryonic” matter is in a plasma state so it’s the most important one outside of the three we deal with in our daily lives so it is by far the most important to know.]

a bomb uses all its fuel rapidly. the sun is a gradual reactor that will consume the earth.

Properly speaking, most plasmas are gases, and there are all sorts of ways you can be a fluid without being a liquid or gas. A fluid is something that flows, and an ideal fluid has zero viscosity, and can be further described by its equation of state (the relationship between pressure and density). A gas is a fluid where the pressure is proportional to the density times the temperature (which most plasmas satisfy, hence, plasmas are gases). A liquid is a fluid where the density is constant. Those are two equations of state that happen to be pretty common (at least, in approximation), but there are plenty of others. For instance, in astrophysics, one sometimes speaks of “dust”, an ideal fluid with zero pressure. A “photon gas” is a fluid with pressure equal to 1/3 of the density. Dark energy is a fluid with pressure equal to the negative of the density. There are fluids used in laboratories and factories here on Earth with equations of state somewhere in between the liquid and gaseous.

Now, one could try to claim that the Big Three (or Big Four, counting plasmas) that you learn about in school are somehow special, because of the existence of phase transistions. Now, it’s true that going from solid to liquid, or liquid to gas, or gas to plasma, or the other way around, usually involves phase transitions if you do it by changing the temperature while at standard pressure, but then again, if you also play with the pressure, you can transition between liquid and gas without going through a phase transition (this is used with water in some industrial processes), and you can also go through a phase transition between multiple different solid phases (again with water, there are close to a dozen different solid phases known).

But apparently griffon502 believes the correct view is that the sun is a mass of incandescent gas.

“Gradual” doesn’t even begin to describe it.
“Glacial” is probably closer.

It takes on the order of a billion years for a single pair of protons, randomly banging around in the sun’s core, to finally smash into each other and fuse. In any cubic kilometer of the sun’s core, there might be one (1) proton-proton fusion reaction happening every second.

Sure, you’ve probably heard that the sun’s core converts 4 million tons of mass into energy every second, and this is true – but it’s not as impressive as it sounds. The sun’s core is FREAKIN’ HUGE, over 20 times as big around as the Earth and many thousands of times more massive. Compared to the core as a whole, 4 million tons is a tiny wisp o’ nothin’.

That’s why the sun’s been shining for 5 billion years, and will continue to shine for another 5 billion more until its core runs outta gas. (At which point, the outer layers will collapse enough to ignite a shell of hydrogen surrounding the core, which will provide enough outward radiation pressure to cause the sun to swell up into a red giant and swallow the Earth for a million years or so, but that’s another matter.)

Well, Aristotle and his followers (which means almost anyone with an education through to the renaissance) held that heavenly bodies, including stars, were made of a special element not found on Earth, the aether (not to be confused with the luminiferous aether of more recent centuries) or quintessence. That hardly amounts to their being solid, however. As the four “traditional” Aristotelian elements (actually he was not the first to propose them) correspond roughly to what we now call “states of matter” -
earth - solid
water - liquid
air -gas
fire - plasma (sort of, but in fact most flames aren’t really plasma) -
it looks to me as though the “traditional” was that the stars are plasma, or some state beyond plasma. Not bad for the 4th century BC! (Of cousre, as the Monn and planets were also supposed to be made of teh same stuff, he got those quite badly wrong.)

I don’t know if that the “traditional view” that griffon502 had in mind - no-one has held to it for quite a long time now - but I also know of no traditional view that held the stars to be solid.

The sun is an ongoing
Nuclear-exploding
Ball that will swallow the e-earth…

Since only about 10% of the sun’s mass is in its core, and (unlike smaller red dwarf stars) the material in the sun’s core doesn’t circulate around the rest of the sun, only 10% of the sun’s mass will ever be involved in nuclear fusion.

The other 90% are just sitting up on top of the core, basking in the sunshine.

What the hell is a hydrodon bomb?

A bomb with really long tusks?

That’s what killed the dinosaurs.

Yeah, next time maybe you’ll listen to Chicvk Shulub when he tells you the sky is falling!

The sun’s core generates about as much heat energy per unit of volume as a compost pile does. Except the sun is a very very big compost pile so it’s total output is suitably massive.

More counter-intuitive is the fact that plasma is really the normal state of matter. Most of the matter in the universe exists in a plasma state. The states that we think of as normal - gases, liquids, solids - are actually rare on a universal scale.

On a similar note, our solar system is comprised of the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, and various detritus.

Also: Hydrogen. It’s practically all hydrogen, when you count up baryonic matter by mass. Interesting, given that hydrogen is the lightest atom possible. I suppose this means that most baryonic matter (by mass) is protons?

The Sun is a Miasma of Incandescent Plasma