• Question: if the sun is space then why is space so dark?

    Asked by gummybears to Ahmed, Francesca, George, James, Nitheen on 17 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: James Sullivan

      James Sullivan answered on 17 Nov 2014:

      hi Gummybears –

      because what we see in space is reflected light – and there is nothing in the vast majority of the space in space – so there’s nothing to reflect light – so it looks dark to us.

    • Photo: Francesca Paradisi

      Francesca Paradisi answered on 17 Nov 2014:

      Go James go!

    • Photo: Ahmed Osman

      Ahmed Osman answered on 17 Nov 2014:

      Hi gummybears,
      thanks for this genius question
      scientists are doing studies on some thing called dark matter and dark energy. these 2 things we know nothing about but it could account for 95%of all the matter in the universe. as for your question, the sun only seems very bright to us because we are so close and our atmosphere scatters the light. If we were 10 light years away from the sun, it would look like a tiny spot in a vast ocean of blackness
      hope it is clear

    • Photo: George Dowson

      George Dowson answered on 18 Nov 2014:

      The lack of any material in space to reflect or scatter light is indeed why it’s dark. Another reason is called the inverse square law. If you imagine the sun as a ball and it generates light around it. If we could see a nanosecond’s worth of the light only, you’d see a bubble of light expanding away from the sun at the speed of light. The surface area of that light bubble, like the surface area of any sphere is 4pi times the radius squared. This means that if you double the distance you are from the sun, the light gets 4 times (2 squared) dimmer. If you’re 3 times further its 9 times dimmer. Stars are very very very far apart so in a lot of directions, even though you’re looking at many stars, they’re too dim to see. Hubble and other telescopes in space have seen this, everywhere you look in the sky there are hundreds, thousands or millions of stars, and between each group of stars is another group of stars. Google “Hubble deep field” to see an example.