• Question: In space, Could you actually touch a star or would you burn yourself??? Is it possible to even go near one??

    Asked by lol4eva to Adam, Catherine, Karen, Leila, Nazim on 15 Mar 2012. This question was also asked by yassie.
    • Photo: Leila Battison

      Leila Battison answered on 15 Mar 2012:

      If you could shield yourself from the radiation (which would kill you in a few days), then you could get a little closer than Earth, but not much closer. On the surface of Mercury which is still 35 million miles away from the sun, the temperature is over 400 degrees, so you’d be burnt to a crisp! Pretty much all stars are the same, so there wouldn’t be much of you left to touch the star!

    • Photo: Adam Stevens

      Adam Stevens answered on 15 Mar 2012:

      You would be vaporised way before you managed to touch it, and, like Leila says, you would be killed by the radiation well before that anyway.

    • Photo: Karen Masters

      Karen Masters answered on 15 Mar 2012:

      Stars don’t have solid surfaces like Earth – they are just atmosphere getting thicker and thicker as you go down. And it would get hot enough to vapourize you before you got even close. Sorry!

    • Photo: Nazim Bharmal

      Nazim Bharmal answered on 18 Mar 2012:

      It isn’t possible to get very near one, as apart from the heat and the radiation, the uppermost surface of a star is a plasma that would quickly destroy anything near it.

      It is a bit difficult to say where a star begins because it isn’t very dense. A good analogy is the Earth itself; you can’t touch the atmosphere easily. So it is a bit hard to say how you would ‘touch’ a star, more ‘wave your hand through it perhaps, because it isn’t very dense. (Of course, you can’t get there in the first place.)