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Star Power

Examines the role of nuclear fusion in the life cycle of stars, and what particle accelerators reveal.

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Tsar Bomba

Tsar Bomba

Credit: Governement Image
Source: http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/File:Tsar_Bomba.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Tsar Bomba is the nickname for the most powerful explosion created by humans. The Soviet Union detonated this bomb as a test in 1961.

Amazing But True!

  • Tsar Bomba had as much power as about 1500 times the power of both of the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki and one-quarter the power of the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883.
  • The explosion was so big that it detonated in the atmosphere; it’s shock wave wouldn’t let it hit the ground.
  • The sun is a giant nuclear explosion that keeps exploding, yet is contained.
  • Credit: NASA/SDO (AIA)
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Sun_by_the_Atmospheric_Imaging_Assembly_of_NASA%27s_Solar_Dynamics_Observatory_-_20100819.jpg
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Nuclear fusion of hydrogen nuclei turning into helium creates the Sun's energy [Figure2]

  • Fusion takes place in the sun’s core, where the temperature is 27,000,000°F.

Show What You Know

With the links below, learn more about nuclear fusion. Then answer the following questions.

  1. How did the sun form?
  2. How did Tsar Bomba make such a big explosion?
  3. How does the sun not explode all at once like Tsar Bomba did?
  4. What are the characteristics of stars that live longer and stars that live shorter periods of time?

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