We all know how important the Sun is here on Earth. From making our plants and crops grow to help us cook food and maintain the perfect balance of cold and warmth on our planet. Not only that, we have the Sun to thank for solar energy, which is a renewable source of energy that almost everyone in the world has access to. But, some of us cannot help to wonder if humans can create the same energy as the Sun. That is why in this article, we are going to help you answer that question.
Understanding Solar Energy
The Sun is a star that is about one million times bigger than the size of Earth. This means if Earth were the size of the head of a pin, the Sun would be about the size of a basketball.
The Sun is a hot ball of gas, its surface temperature can is roughly 6,000 degrees Celsius, and it gets even warmer as you travel further toward its center. This is all thanks to nuclear fusion, which is a process that takes place at the center of the Sun. This process happens when small nuclei are joined together and form heavier nuclei. For nuclear fusion to happen, it needs a lot of heat, making the Sun aa perfect place to occur. Nuclear fusion also creates a lot of energy because the nucleus of an atom joins or fuses objects together. To put it simply, a nuclear fusion is nuclei fusing together because of the Sun’s extreme heat, resulting in the creation and release of intense amounts of energy.
This is why we do not only get warmth and light, and we also get energy from the Sun. Through the years, humans have found ways to put this energy to work for us in several ways, such as generating electrical energy and heating water and living spaces in our homes.
Not only that, but plants also use the Sun’s energy to help them in photosynthesis, and more indirectly, we eat plants such as fruits and vegetables to give our bodies energy. This is why the Sun is such an important part of life on Earth, which is why it is not that surprising why people, especially scientists try to re-create the energy that is coming from the Sun.
Imitating the Sun’s Energy
As we mentioned, the energy that is coming from the Sun is from a process called nuclear fusion. This process gives out energy that then radiates out into the solar system.
For several years, a lot of scientists have tried to recreate the process of nuclear fusion here on Earth. In search of finding a clean source of energy. Imitating the Sun’s energy means it could help lower carbon emissions as well s the levels of other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. The process of recreating the Sun’s energy has led some scientists to the idea of creating our own artificial Sun.
But what do we mean by “artificial sun”? Do they have to create giant balls of gas that can also heat other planets from the center of our solar system? Of course not. Instead, humans are trying to create these artificial suns with the help of nuclear fusion reactors.
In fact, back in 2017, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) announced that they had created such a device. They called their reactor Synlight and reached temperatures of 5432 °F or 3000 °C. The inventors of Synlight even claimed that their device could produce up to 10,000 times more light than what the Earth naturally gets from the Sun.
Synlight isn’t alone, and there is another artificial sun that was created in China in 2020. They called the HL-2M Tokamak, and it is a reactor that uses a magnetic field, and it can reach up to 270 million °F or 150 million °C. This makes the HL-2M Tokamak ten times hotter than our Sun.
Several people are hopeful that these inventions are the future of safe energy. This is because people worldwide are starting to grow more concerned about rising sea levels and climate change. They hope that nuclear fusion will be a more safe, sustainable energy source.
So, will humans create a replacement for the actual Sun by the time it turns into a red giant and explodes? We can’t predict the future, but the development of today’s artificial suns could be a good start.