Making ash makes the sun heat up

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 September, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 September, 1993, 12:00am

WHAT is it that makes the sun so hot? The sun makes heat by turning hydrogen into helium. This is what happens: Parts of the hydrogen atoms go flying around so fast that they stick together. This turns them into something new - helium! Helium is considered ''ash''.

And as the helium in the sun's centre builds, the sun gets hotter. That's because all this bouncing hydrogen is outside the core of helium.

As the hot core grows, the activity gets closer to the sun's edge.

At the core, the sun is about 10 million degrees Celsius. At the edge, it's only about 6,000 degrees C.