|MadSci Network: Astronomy|
Hi Andrew!! You have asked a really cool question, and in order to answer it we are going to have to talk about size and scale (how big things are) and we are going to have to talk about some chemistry too! Ok, first let's talk about size. The Earth is a really big ball of rock, but the sun is even bigger. It's lots bigger! You could fit hundreds and hundreds of planet Earths inside the sun, and still have room to spare! Now, I know the sun looks pretty small from the Earth (you should never look directly at the sun) but it's small because it is far away. If you hold a penny close to your face and then at arm's length you'll see what I mean. The sun is like that penny. Up close it is truly huge (1,392,000 km (864,950 miles) in diameter), but at a distance it is tiny. If you were standing on the sun (somehow) and looking back at the Earth, you wouldn't be able to see it as more than just a bright star! So what does this have to do with your question? Well, if you were able to magically transport all the water from the Earth to the surface of the sun, you would cover only a tiny, tiny portion of the sun. In fact, the amount of water wouldn't even cover a sunspot on the sun! Wait a minute, what's a sunspot, you ask? Well, if you check out this site: www.spacescience.com You can see sunspots in action. Many of those sunspots are so big the Earth would fit inside them! It gets better. Water on the sun wouldn't put it out anyway! The sun's fire is a different kind of fire than the kind we get on Earth. Fire on Earth is made from mixing oxygen with fuels. Fire on the sun is made from smashing atoms together and getting new atoms. One of the atoms that gets smashed in the sun is hydrogen...hydrogen is also one of the atoms in water! So what you would be doing if you transported all of the Earth's water to the sun is you would be adding fuel to the sun's fire! Of course, the amount of fuel you are adding is like throwing a tiny twig on a giant bonfire. Take Care and Be Safe, Steve Williams Rock Star and Science Demonstrator Pacific Science Center, Seattle, Washington, USA
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