Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): (left) The Sun is a main-sequence star, and thus generates its energy by nuclear fusion of hydrogen nuclei into helium. What we see as light and feel as warmth coming from the Sun is the result of this fusion reaction process. In its core, the Sun fuses 620 million metric tons of hydrogen each second. Nuclear fusion doesn't occur naturally on Earth, but low levels of radioactive decay from terrestrial rocks can trigger events in a neutrino detector that are similar to CNO neutrino detections.” It is called "the core", with a radius close to one fourth of that of the star (see the figure above). The power generator in the Sun is in its center, buried deeply within it. Two atoms of hydrogen are combined in a series of steps to create helium-4. (right) The proton-proton chain dominates in stars the size of the Sun … In stars less massive than the Sun, this is the only reaction that takes place. This fusion reaction, where heavier elements are created out of lighter ones, releases energy owing to Einstein's E = mc 2. For most of their lives, stars fuse elemental hydrogen into helium in their cores. Elements and our Sun. Nuclear Fusion. In the core, pressures and temperatures are high enough to force fusion, that is, nuclear reactions whereby some nuclei merge to make others. For example, when hydrogen nuclei collide, they can fuse into heavier helium nuclei and release tremendous amounts of energy in the process. In its core, the Sun fuses 620 million metric tons of hydrogen and makes 616 million metric tons of helium each second. In stars more massive than the Sun (but less massive than about 8 solar masses), further reactions that convert helium to carbon and oxygen take place in succesive stages of stellar evolution. Because an atomic nucleus of helium is 0.7% lighter than the four hydrogen nuclei that it's created from, that act of nuclear fusion releases a tremendously efficient amount of energy. Stars are made mostly of hydrogen and helium, which are packed so densely in a star that in the star’s center the pressure is great enough to initiate nuclear fusion reactions. The Sun is a main-sequence star, and, as such, generates its energy by nuclear fusion of hydrogen nuclei into helium. The energy source for all stars is nuclear fusion. Nuclear fusion in stars converts hydrogen into helium in all stars. It merges atomic nuclei to create massive amounts of energy—the … This occurs because … Fusion is the process occurring within the plasma core of our Sun in which the nuclei of lighter atoms link to form a heavier atom. The fusion of lighter elements in stars releases energy and the mass that always accompanies it. Fusion is the mechanism that powers up the sun and other stars. 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