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Ask A Scientist

Have a question for our scientists? Send us your questions about optics and photonics!
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kandy V of Azerbaijan asks...

How hot is the sun????

The Sun's core is about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit (15 million degrees Celsius).

The Sun is the largest and most massive object in the solar system. If the Sun were as tall as a typical front door, Earth would be about the size of a nickel.

It is about 93 million miles (149.5 million km) from Earth. That distance is called an astronomical unit, or 1 AU, and is used to measure distances throughout the solar system. The Sun's light and heat takes about eight minutes to reach us, which leads to another way to state the distance to the sun: 8 light-minutes.

The Sun is the center of our solar system and makes up 99.8 percent of the mass of the entire solar system.

Dr. Jelena Pesic OSA Ambassador Research Engineer, Bell Labs, NOKIA
David F of USA;Massachusetts asks...

How come in the demonstration with the water the question asks "Are the arrows going the same way" and if you look at the answer it says "No" why is this there it is actually wrong because if you move the glass the arrows are going the same way.

Thank you for your question as it caused a lively debate amongst the scientists. It really comes down to how you view the glass so we have updated the illusion to have a clearer question and we also changed the answer!

Dan Christensen, USA, 2018 OSA Ambassador
kendra a of Georgia asks...

Is it fun being a scientist

Doing science as a job is like any other job or profession, in the sense that one has responsibilities, things that from time to time might stress you out, or that you don't like.

However, there is in my opinion something quite unique about being a scientist: You are all the time doing new things. You spend your time thinking about ideas that nobody thought of before, or inventing new devices and machines that can do things that were impossible before. In a sense, you are shaping the future and that is super exciting and fun.

Federico Furch, Germany, 2018 OSA Ambassador