Task 4: Model of the Sun

The main difference between the planet and a star is the fact that the star is a source of light and heat (and other types) of radiation due to the thermonuclear reaction occurring at its core. In the outer part, there is a layer where the transfer of energy from the inside to the surface of the star is carried out by flow. The heated plasma rises to the surface where it cools and drops back. A structure called granulation is created on the surface. This structure can be simulated in a shallow bowl placed on the stove. Attention! This is a demonstration experiment with hot oil. The teacher must handle all manipulation. Pupils must adhere to a safe distance.


Pour table oil into the petri dish and stir in a little aluminium powder or silver paint. Place the bowl on the stove and start warming it up. After a while, the structure of the so-called Bénard cells appears on the surface. Turn off the stove because by overheating you would reduce the size of the cells and their clarity.