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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

If fire needs oxygen, where does the sun get oxygen if there's no oxygen in space?

In my Quora community, this question was asked and alot of comments have since been pouring in from members of the community. However, this response is so detailed and educating, i thought it best to share;

The Sun (or any star, for that matter) doesn't "burn" as wood or coal would, for instance, using a chemical reaction.

The term "burn" is today meant metaphorically, and comes from many centuries ago, when the sun was thought to be some sort of bright fiery ember.  Already during the 19th century this hypothesis came into disfavor when the growing understanding of heat showed that the sun was too hot for its size, or for any known combustion reaction, and if fueled by some combustible material it would not last very long.

Finally, during the 20th century, and thanks to the growing understanding of nuclear reactions, it was understood that the Sun (or any other star) is actually "powered" by a gigantic fusion reactor running under the CNO cycle thanks to the enormous, gravity-induced pressure in its core.
What is your thought on this?