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Red Barns Because of Dying Stars

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Have you ever noticed that almost every barn you see is red ?  This color serves a purpose.

The red color of barns has to do with the chemistry of dying stars. Sounds crazy, but its true. Red paint is the cheapest paint there is, but why is it so cheap?  Red ochre is known as Fe203, which is a simple compound of iron and oxygen that absorbs yellow, green, and blue light and appears red.  This is what makes red paint red, cheap, and plentiful.  This type of paint is plentiful because of the nuclear fusion in dying stars.  Let me explain:

The only thing holding a star up is the energy of fusion reactions. So as the power levels go down, the star starts to shrink. As it shrinks, the pressure and temperature goes up, until suddenly it hits a temperature where a new reaction can get started.  The new reactions give a burst of energy and the cycle repeats until it produces heavier elements, specifically until it hits 56.  A 56 nucleon is the total number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus. What element has 56 protons and neutrons in its nucleus when in it is in a stable state? Iron, the stuff that makes red paint.  The death of a star is part of the creation of red paint!

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The student news site of Blackstock Junior High School
Red Barns Because of Dying Stars