If space has no oxygen, then how does the Sun burn?
I know about nuclear fission, but could there really be a scientific explanation so perfect that it could eliminate all that we know about combustion and thusly remove the need of oxygen from a burning element?
The process of nuclear fusion that the sun uses to provide energy is not the same as burning. Converting matter to energy in this way is not burning and in is effect far more efficient. The process the sun uses is nuclear fusion rather than fission.
The surprising part is the Space itself is not all empty. It does have most of the elements in atomic form; mostly Hydrogen helium and even some oxygen. As first answer above: The sun (and all stars) is a giant nuclear reactor; but a bit more than the ones we humans use.
The sun has a two-way reaction: It FUSES sub-atomic particles - which releases great amounts of heat; and it SPLITS the atoms again - which also creates great amounts of heat. The Atomic reactions does not need oxygen to 'burn'.
Funny thing; I just posted a Forum request for new Topics, including one about Space!
From my research of the sun, it is all in the hydrogen and helium of the sun's core and how the neutrons combine to create the one million degree temperature of the sun's heat.
The sun was born when a bunch of hydrogen fused into a large star. This hydrogen began to fuse, and the Sun lights up. The Sun is not a giant match of ball of fire. The sun is a bunch of plasma, which can also shine on its own.
There is a big difference between something being extremely hot and radiating heat, and something "burning" in the traditional sense that we think of it here on Earth.
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