Strange_Behavior_of_the_Sun's-097902d92878f9b4d79093e02ce368c6A machine on Earth capable of recreating the conditions inside the sun’s heart is helping scientists study how iron behaves at mind-boggling temperatures. The results of the experiment, so far, have defied expectations and just might help settle a long-standing solar puzzle, researchers say. Recreating conditions inside the sun, with temperatures topping 3.9 billion degrees Fahrenheit (2.2 billion degrees Celsius), is no easy task, but it’s something scientists have been doing for a decade at the Z Machine at Sandia National Laboratory. This machine creates some of the most powerful X-rays found on Earth. Each pulse contains 80 trillion watts of electricity — more than five times the combined electrical power of all the power plants on Earth, according to Sandia’s website. The pulses last only about 100 nanoseconds each, but that’s long enough to heat a very small sample of material to temperatures found at the heart of Earth’s nearest star. More