A – Z Blogging Challenge = R is for Random Walk

More physics. Ever wondered just WHY the sun shines?

You may know that our Sun is composed almost entirely of hydrogen, the lightest element in the universe. And because its very hot in our Sun (and atoms move faster the hotter it is), there are an unimaginable number of hydrogen atoms smashing together every second of every day, for billions of years so far. And what is created from that smashing together is a helium atom (the next heaviest element after hydrogen), and as a by product, a photon of light is produced. A spark, if you like. 

 That photon of light needs to get from wherever in the Sun’s depths it was produced out into space, so that eventually it arrives on Earth; light that we can see. So how does it get to us?

It takes a ‘Random Walk’. And because it’s random (a bit 2 steps forward, 1 step back, depending on what the photon crashes into, which diverts it in a different direction), a photon may take up to 1 million years to get from where it was produced, out to the surface. And from there, it takes a mere 8 minutes to get to us.

So enjoy the sunshine when you can, it’s worked very hard to get to you!

 

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8 thoughts on “A – Z Blogging Challenge = R is for Random Walk

  1. It works so hard to reach me, and then I capture it on my skin and my shadow forms behind me. I love astronomy and everything related to it. Why in the world do you write fantasy instead of sf? JK

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  2. It’s a beautiful sunny day here. Nice to know the sun worked so hard to give us the warmth and brightness we enjoy. πŸ™‚ Interesting post, Kimberley.

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