The Sun is a living thing, like all of us. It was born about 13.7 billion years ago and will live its life, then get older and eventually pass away.
The Sun is a nuclear furnace turing hydrogen into helium at a temperature of millions of degrees. Eventually, like a fire around a campsite, it will use up all its fuel and go out. Sometimes a star will fall in on itself and explode into a supernova. But our star probably isn't big enough for that, so chances are, in a few billion years, it will just start to go out. Get smaller. Make us colder. Much colder.
If you look on the internet about how to make a pinhole camera, a solar telescope, or a filter on glasses, you can experiment with safe ways of checking out the Sun - but only under strict supervision. It can be dangerous. With the correct filter, you can look directly at the sun. And it's amazing. You can buy special astronomy glasses for about £5. Very cool. Then you could bring them in, let your class have a go.
But you have summer in Hastings to look forward to. And a few billion summers to go. So don't let it get you down. Enjoy the sea and the Sun (wherever it was this week?!!!?!) and thank you for your excellent science question. St. Pauls is awesome. Be cool to your school. Thank you to Lucy for sending it, and we hope to see you again.
- Brad, Blast Science.
P.S. Don’t forget about the free science events happening on the Pier this summer. First come first serve! Have fun, and ask good questions! That’s what a good scientist does.