Shop Windows to the Universe

Hands On Mineral Identification helps you to identify over 14,500 minerals! By M. Darby Dyar, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.

Why does the sun shine?

The Sun shines because it sends out energy in all directions as radiation. This radiation takes the form of light and heat. Almost the same amount of radiation leaves the Sun in all directions. It takes about eight minutes for the light from the Sun to travel to the Earth.


Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Cool It! is the new card game from the Union of Concerned Scientists that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change—and how policy and technology decisions made today will matter. Cool It! is available in our online store.

You might also be interested in:

Why does the sun shine?

Like other stars, the Sun is made up mainly of hydrogen gas. The temperature at the Sun's surface is about 10,000 degrees F, but rises to about 27,000,000 degrees F at its core. The temperature and pressure...more

Why does the sun shine?

The energy made in nuclear reactions in the Sun's core travels outward through the Sun's intermediate layers. In the radiation zone, energy gradually travels outward as atoms repeatedly absorb and give...more

IMF

IMF stands for Interplanetary Magnetic Field. It is another name for the Sun's magnetic field. The Sun's magnetic field is huge! It goes beyond any of the planets. The Sun's magnetic field got its name...more

The Hydrogen Fusion Process

In the basic Hydrogen fusion cycle, four Hydrogen nuclei (protons) come together to make a Helium nucleus. This is the simple version of the story. There are actually electrons, neutrinos and photons involved...more

Fusion Inside the Stars

Fusion in the core of stars is reached when the density and temperature are high enough. There are different fusion cycles that occur in different phases of the life of a star. These different cycles make...more

The Neutron Capture Process

Neutron capture can occur when a neutron approaches a nucleus close enough for nuclear forces to be effective. The neutron is captured and forms a heavier isotope of the capturing element. When the new...more

The Supernova

A Supernova is a very massive star that explodes at the end of its life cycle. The supernova is the furnace where the heavy elements (heavier than iron) are formed. ...more

Fusion Reactions

Nuclear fusion is a process where two or more nuclei combine to form an element with a higher atomic number (more protons in the nucleus). Fusion is the reverse process of nuclear fission. Fusion reactions...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA