How can I avoid certain death, but in a rigorously scientific way?
At the centre of the Sun – from the centre and ¼ of the way towards the surface – the temperature is up to 15 million degrees and the pressure so huge that hydrogen atomic nuclei can fuse. Often, the hydrogen nuclei will just pass by one another, but sometimes, they fuse to generate energy.
Hydrogen is the most common element of the universe and also the most simple one, as the nucleus only contains one proton. In the Sun’s interior, protons collide, resulting in nuclei from the second most common element in the universe: helium.
But it's not that simple, when four protons form into a helium nucleus made up of two protons and two neutrons. The fusion process requires several stages and is not very efficient. Luckily, this means that the Sun can burn for a long time. Our star has been shining for 4.6 billion years and can burn for another couple of billion years.
Only at the centre of the Sun, the temperature reaches the 10-15 million degrees required for hydrogen to fuse with helium.