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What is a nebula? Space and astronomy

By |2018-05-31T11:49:30+00:00August 19th, 2017|Physics|

The Eagle Nebula A nebula is a bunch of atoms and molecules floating in outer space, like a cloud of dust. More than one nebula are called nebulae, because -ae is the plural ending in Latin, just as -s is the plural ending in English. Nebula is the Latin word for a cloud. The earliest nebulae formed just [...]

Brown dwarf stars – Space science

By |2018-05-31T11:49:30+00:00August 17th, 2017|Physics|

What a brown dwarf might look like up close The very beginning of a star forming is a brown dwarf: a star that hasn't gotten enough mass together yet to begin nuclear fusion. They are the smallest and coolest kind of star. Brown dwarfs aren't really brown, but they are a very dull red color. They hardly [...]

Big bang – Space science – Physics

By |2018-04-24T14:22:12+00:00August 17th, 2017|Physics, When|

Inside stars (like our Sun) there are fusion reactions. Stars got started after the Big Bang. The Big Bang was the very beginning of our Universe, and it probably happened about 13.73 billion years ago, because that's how old the oldest stars are, and we think that stars began to form almost immediately after the Big Bang. Nobody [...]

Radioactivity and nuclear physics

By |2018-04-24T14:44:18+00:00August 17th, 2017|Physics|

A Japanese girl who lost her hair from radiation sickness from the atomic bomb Americans dropped on Hiroshima Some atoms are naturally radioactive, especially atoms of uranium and plutonium. These atoms have so many protons and neutrons that even the strong nuclear force is barely strong enough to hold them together, and they sometimes lose a proton or a [...]

Nuclear physics – fission and fusion

By |2018-04-24T11:58:42+00:00August 17th, 2017|Physics|

Atomic bomb explosions make a "mushroom cloud" - this is a fission reaction Nuclear physics is the process of getting energy from the nucleus of an atom. There are two ways to release energy from atoms: fission and fusion. Fusion happens all the time in nature, mostly inside stars because fusion needs lots of heat or gravity to get it going. Fusion works with the [...]

Nuclear fusion – Simple Physics

By |2018-05-31T11:49:26+00:00August 17th, 2017|Physics|

The Sun shining from space Fusion reactions are how the first stars got started. Soon after the Big Bang, hydrogen atoms began bumping into each other and merging into one bigger heliumatom. Four atoms with four nuclei - centers - mixed together into one atom with a bigger nucleus. But each time this happened there was a bit of energy left [...]

What is electricity? Physics

By |2018-06-01T10:27:39+00:00August 16th, 2017|Physics|

What is electricity? A bolt of lightning in the sky What is electricity made of? Everything in the universe is made of atoms.  Those atoms are made of electricity. Atoms are made of even smaller particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons. Electricity is electrons that have gotten loose from their atom. (More about electrons) The protons and neutrons [...]

European science in the 1800s

By |2018-04-16T10:32:30+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Science|

European boys at school in the 1800s In the first half of the 1800s AD, countries in northern Europe like France and Britain forced India, Ghana, Nigeria, Canada, and other countries to give them food. That meant that many people in northern Europe could stop farming and get an education. Families sent more boys to school than girls, so most of the educated people were [...]