I am not a student, unfortunately, just a curious layperson who gets random, weird questions sometimes, so my apologies if this is a basic question generally covered in astrophysics for dummies, but ... here goes ... Nuclear fusion is the process of atoms combining to form heavier elements, and in the process some of the components of the original atoms are converted to energy based on the much beloved e = mc^2, correct? So the new atom, created by fusion, actually has slightly less mass than the two atoms that combined to make it? Gravity is based on mass, so wouldn't this mean that as fusion in a star progresses over the lifetime of the star, the star loses mass in this process and, thus, gravity? Acknowledging the fusion process casts off particles anyway, and things like coronal mass ejections probably cast off more mass than the loss of mass from fusion anyway, how much of an effect would this have on a star the size of, say, our local sun over its lifetime? And does this gradually lowering gravity affect the orbits of planets orbitting the star? Thanks for answering my silly question.