The sun is not on fire. There is no oxygen in space and fire—or combustion--requires oxygen. The sun does not burn, it fuses. The sun’s glow is from nuclear fusion taking place at its core. Every second the sun converts 700 million tons of hydrogen into 695 million tons of helium. And those flares that look like flames shooting off the surface of the sun? They are powerful bursts of radiation created by solar quakes and eruptions. All that violent action makes a lot of sound waves. All that heat makes the sound waves move super fast. The waves smash into one another vibrating the sun like a guitar string. The sun is 100 times louder than a rock concert. It’s a good thing sound can’t travel through space, or we wouldn’t be able to hear anything else. What? What did you say? I can’t hear you over the noisy sun!
NASA video of solar flares:
All animals are awesome, of course. But if we are rating by size nothing beats the Blue Whale. They grow as long as three school busses parked end to end and weigh as much as a four-bedroom house. (And sadly, as much as the trash left on the moon.) Their heart alone weighs more than my Toyota Prius and their arteries are so big we could swim in them. Hardly a tidbit, but totally awesome for sure.
Young children jump and twirl and play. An adult puts the baby they are carrying down for a moment. We can see their prints in the sand. This happens every day at the beach, right? Well apparently, it also happened 23,000 years ago in White Sands, New Mexico. The accepted theory was that humans didn’t make their way to the Americas until around 13,000 years ago—certainly no earlier than 16,000 years ago. Scientists may have to rethink the how and the when of our arrival. How do we know how old the footprints are? By grass seeds found in the same layers as the footprints. All living things absorb carbon while they are alive and once they die the carbon-14 decays at a measurable rate. The footprints themselves were never alive, of course. But the seeds were…and they’re talking.