• Question: would it be possible to fly trough a star if it is a ball of gas

    Asked by josh to Colin, John, Kevin, Shikha, Triona on 18 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Tríona O'Connell

      Tríona O'Connell answered on 18 Nov 2014:

      No. It’s not just a ball of gas, it’s a very very very hot very very very big ball of gas (well, really plasma). You’d burn up before you go the chance

    • Photo: Kevin Motherway

      Kevin Motherway answered on 18 Nov 2014:

      No it’s not possible, even though it’s a ball of gas the pressure and temperature at the core is so huge that any concept you have about matter being solid is not relevant. It’s not even a ball of gas anymore but a plasma, a state of matter so hot and so excited that electrons are ripped off the atoms of gas. Nothing could survive it. Even if your ship survived it the radiation dose you’d get would be literally out of this world

    • Photo: Shikha Sharma

      Shikha Sharma answered on 20 Nov 2014:

      Hi Josh,

      Practically it is not possible. This is because stars are too hot because of the continuous fusion reaction at the core of the star which generate enormous amount of heat. The temperature of the sun at its core is 15 million degrees celsius, and about 2 million degrees celsius on its surface. There no space craft can sustain this temperature. Moreover, Stars have huge gravitational pull. Once a space craft reached near the stars it will be pulled into the star. To escape such pull the space craft needs to attain very high velocity, which is not be possible by any space crafts as on date!!!!
      Could it be possible for a star i see to have been destroyed a few years ago depending on how far it is?
      Very good question!!!! Let me tell you one interesting thing!!!! When we look at sky whatever we see, its all in past!!!!! How??? Light from any object from universe takes some time to reach us. When it reaches we get see the object exactly the same when the light left the object in past. Now let me elaborate a bit. A light ray just started from Sun, reaches on Earth after approx. 8 mins. Therefore when it reaches to us we see the Sun exactly as it was 8 mins ago. In a way we see Sun always 8 mins past!!!!!!. Now let’s assume, a distant star emits it’s last light rays just before getting destroyed into a black hole. The star is one light year away from earth, therefore those last lights will take 1 year to reach us. When it reaches us we shall see the star alive. However in reality the star have already destroyed!!!!
      Believe me, this is a very very interesting realization by physicists and astronomers. They try to focus their telescope at very high distance from earth to get an idea how the universe was in past. More you look at distance more you go back to past of universe. Now can you just imagine how we came to know the origin of universe 13 billion years back!!!!!!