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Please Explain: The Sun

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Sun makes up about 99% of the total mass of the Solar System. Find out what the sun is made of, how hot it is, and why humans couldn’t survive without it. Dr. Grace Wolf-Chase is an astronomer with Chicago’s Adler Planetarium and a senior research associate in the Department of Astrophysics at the University of Chicago; Chris Lintott is an astrophysicist with Oxford University and the co-host of the BBC’s astronomy program, "The Sky at Night."

Guests:

Chris Lintott and Dr. Grace Wolf-Chase

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Comments [9]

PL Hayes from Aberystwyth

evan, all stars are formed by 'condensation' out of clouds of gas: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_643.html

Nov. 21 2008 02:31 PM
PL Hayes from Aberystwyth

Joe from Englewood, that's right. In its red giant stage, the Sun will burn the helium in its core, making carbon, for about 100 million years. When the helium's gone, the Sun's core will not be massive enough to shrink further and go on to make other elements.

Nov. 21 2008 02:22 PM
evan

What was the event that created our sun?

Nov. 21 2008 01:48 PM
gary dolan from brooklyn

I have seen the northern lights from both southern and northern Michigan. While both times the lights were entirely green, I have seen photos showing many colors. I was wondering what determines the colors of the lights.

Nov. 21 2008 01:47 PM
Steven Esposito from Scotch Plains, NJ

How does light pollution affect astronomy?

Are any movments being made to contol light pollution?

Nov. 21 2008 01:45 PM
pg from bloomington, in

I have the same question as #2/RC-- Solar activity that may or may not be responsible for global warming?

Nov. 21 2008 01:41 PM
Joe from Englewood, nj

I thought that the elements with atomic numbers higher than helium are only produced at later stages of the sun's life.

Could you please comment on this?

Nov. 21 2008 01:30 PM
RC

How much of the sun's activity related to climate change. Many global warming skeptics point to sunspots and cosmic rays as the problem

Nov. 21 2008 01:30 PM
concerned

Beware of NPR's industry ties.
Read NYTimes article:
Popular Radio Host Has Drug Company Ties
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/22/health/22radio.html?hp

Nov. 21 2008 01:13 PM

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