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The reason why I ask this question is because nuclear energy is fission or fusion of particles, so solar energy (which is fusion) is actually nuclear energy obtained at a safe distance. We only call it "solar" because it comes from a star or another emitting object.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, but if your goal is to be able to correct people when they say, "solar energy," and tell them that it's really "nuclear energy,"... Well, let's just say, I'm not sure you're going to solve any of the world's problems that way. $\endgroup$ – user205719 Oct 2 '18 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with you i should not do that.I want to correct only my teacher because her ego is more than her knowledge. $\endgroup$ – kir4ss_just_ice Oct 2 '18 at 17:45
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    $\begingroup$ @StefanIvanovic it is not wrong to call energy from the sun "Solar energy" though. In fact, that is the most apt term to describe it. $\endgroup$ – enumaris Oct 2 '18 at 18:39
  • $\begingroup$ fossil fuels are stored solar energy which is ultimately nuclear energy, geothermal is solar which is nuclear, wind is solar which is nuclear, hydro is solar which is nuclear .. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Oct 3 '18 at 0:51
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Yes, the Sun's energy ultimately comes from fusion of Hydrogen into Helium in its core (via something called the p-p process). So one could certainly say that the Sun's energy is "nuclear" in nature.

One could note though that the original energy source to get the Sun's core hot enough to ignite fusion is from gravitational potential energy - so there's parts of the energy which doesn't come from a "nuclear" source but from a gravitational one.

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 and I'll add that "safe distance" isn't exactly what matters here. Part of the reason nuclear energy is potentially dangerous because of the products, and fusion doesn't produce dangerous products. $\endgroup$ – Allure Oct 2 '18 at 23:36
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It is nuclear power, but I would not call it a safe distance. Short term over exposure can cause painful acute burns. The radiation is intense enough to damage eyes with quite short exposures. Chronic overexposure can lead to increased incidence of cancers.

Of course, none of those are due to nuclear radiation. That is all simply exposure to thermal black body radiation. The only significant nuclear radiation reaching us is the solar neutrino flux which would not be harmful at any distance.

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