Why Is the Sun Hot?

imagesThe Sun formed when particles in a cloud of gas coalesced, due to gravitationalattraction, into a massive astronomical object.Before this occurred the particles in the cloud were widely scattered representing a large amount of gravitational potential energy.As the particle fell closer together, their kinetic energy incresed, but the gravitational potential energy of the system decreased, as required by the conservation of energy.With futher slow collapse, the cloud become more dense and the average kinetic1 energy of the particles incresed. This kinetic energy is the internal energy of the cloud, which is proportional to the temperature. If enough particles come together, the temperature can rise to a pointat which nuclear fusion occurs and the ball of gas becomes a star. Otherwise, the temperature may rise, but not enough to ignite fusion reactions, and the object becomes a brown dwarf (a failed star) or a planet


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