Do any of you remember being asked to draw pictures in school as a child? I bet that a good few amongst you would likely have drawn the sun in one of the top corners of the page, engulfed by a blue line of ‘sky’ that didn’t quite fill the blank white void in between it and the earth. And I would also wager that many of you may have drawn some nice orange flames around your own representation of what you thought a sun should look like, all warm and glowing and brimming with fire. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about now, I did it too. Complex scientific studies into the nature of nuclear fusion and its capabilities on a galactic scale are not exactly appropriate topics for five year olds to be studying anyway.
So now, as an adult, if you were to be asked the question what type of matter is the surface of the sun compromised of, what would your answer be without really giving it a seconds thought? Would that answer still be fire? This assumption would be false.
Our sun is the energy spewing result of nuclear fusion and one hell of a mega heat and light source, it is basically the result of a nuclear reaction on an absolutely massive scale. It is neither solid matter nor a blazing orb of gaseous eruptions and is primarily made up of helium and hydrogen, not oxygen which is an essential component in the creation of fire. Fire cannot exist in the vacuum of space and so the surface of the sun is in actuality plasma and not the burning ball of furious flames that we all at one time probably thought that it was.
Let’s face it though, seeing the sun in this manner does kind of take away some of the romanticised notions out of how we perceive it. Some folk from civilisations of ages long gone once worshipped the mighty sun as a god and it sounds a little better to a storyteller and their audience to describe it in such a way, so just imagine the alternative. All hail and bow down to the almighty and all powerful God of Plasma!
It sounds a little too gooey to be taken seriously doesn’t it? Ah, poor Plasma God and his feeble depiction as the result of an accurate scientific representation. Maybe it would be better suited to science fiction……maybe.
Forged From Reverie.