6.08.2018

Too Short for a Blog Post, Too Long for a Tweet 130

Here are two excerpts from a book I recently read, "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry," by Neil deGrasse Tyson:



In our own solar system, for example, everything that is not the Sun adds up to less than one fifth of one percent of the Sun’s mass.



Every second of every day, 4.5 billion tons of fast-moving hydrogen nuclei are turned into energy as they slam together to make helium within the fifteen-million-degree core of the Sun. 

Helium is widely recognized as an over-the-counter, low-density gas that, when inhaled, temporarily increases the vibrational frequency of your windpipe and larynx, making you sound like Mickey Mouse. Helium is the second simplest and second most abundant element in the universe. Although a distant second to hydrogen in abundance, there’s fifty times more of it than all other elements in the universe combined. One of the pillars of big bang cosmology is the prediction that in every region of the cosmos, no less than about ten percent of all atoms are helium, manufactured in that percentage across the well-mixed primeval fireball that was the birth of our universe.
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