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Who Knew?

A couple weeks ago, I bought myself an astronomy textbook to help fuel my new interest. Flipping through it, I stumbled across an interesting tidbit: the energy produced in the sun’s core as I write this sentence will reach the surface 170,000 years from now, spread out over a span of 100,000 years. I’m not entirely sure why, but this struck me as the most fascinating thing I’ve heard in a long while. The sun’s core could completely stop producing energy for a day, a year, or a lifetime, and we’d never notice. Not only that, but our descendants wouldn’t notice either. Because the energy from one instant is spread out over such a long span, the total output would barely register a blip. Just as we don’t notice that the filament in a standard lighbulb flickers 60 times every second, we’d never notice if our sun did the same thing every century. Cool.