Bringing the Stars Home

A series of photos matching earthbound and stellar physics: convection cells in a frying pan with convection cells on the sun, cream in iced coffee compared to the Crab Nebula, and wave clouds over a barn compared with the swirls of Jupiter

One of my favorite aspects of fluid dynamics is the way that the same patterns and phenomena appear over and over again – sometimes in the most unexpected places. That’s the theme of my new article in American Scientist, which focuses on the connections between our daily lives and the stars:

“Solar energy arises from nuclear fusion reactions in the core, but that energy is buried hundreds of thousands of kilometers beneath the surface, and most of the Sun’s overlying gas is nearly opaque; it hinders light from passing through, like a blanket thrown over a flashlight. Clearly the Sun does shine—but how? For the answer, you can simply go to your kitchen, fill a kettle, and flip on a burner.” #

Click-through to read the full article. (Image credit: N. Sharp, Big Bear Solar Observatory, J. Blom, NASA/ESA, J. Straccia, NASA/JPL/B. Jonsson)

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