The Sun is by far the largest object in our solar system. It contains more than 99.8% of the total mass of the Solar System (Jupiter contains most of the rest). Our Sun is a classified as a normal G2 star.
- The Sun is the closest star to Earth. The next closest star to Earth is Proxima Centauri, located 4.2 light-years away.
- The Sun rotates once every 27 days.
- The Sun is now a middle-aged star, meaning it is at about the middle of its life.
- The Sun formed over four and a half billion years ago. You may think the Sun will die soon, but it will keep shining for at least another five billion years.
- The most massive stars are the shortest live.
- The most massive stars (O and B stars) have the shortest life. K and M stars are the least massive and have the longest lives.
- The more massive a star is the shorter it's life as it will burn its fuel up at a greater rate.
- Our Sun's official designation is as a G2V star. Read More About Stellar Classification
- Light from the Sun reaches Earth in around 8 minutes.
- The Sun is personified in many mythologies:
- the Greeks called it Helios
- the Romans called it Sol
- Ancient Egyptians had a sun god called Ra
- Aztec mythology has a sun god named Tonatiuh
- The Sun’s surface is called the photosphere. The temperature of the photosphere is about 10,000° Fahrenheit. Its core is under its atmosphere. The temperature at the core, or very middle, of the Sun, is about 27 million° Fahrenheit. That’s pretty hot!
- The Sun’s diameter is about 870,000 miles wide.
The Sun is 109 times wider than Earth, and is 333,000 times heavier.
That means if you put the Sun on a scale, you would need 333,000 objects that weigh as much as the Earth on the other side to make it balance.
- The Sun is only one of the over 200-400 billion other stars in our galaxy stars.
In ancient times, the people believed the Sun was a burning ball of fire created by the gods.
Later, people thought it was a solid object, or a liquid ball.
- Looking directly at the Sun can permanently damage your eyes because it is so bright. A star mostly gives off light and heat. The larger the star, the hotter its temperature.
- A super giant star can get to be 400 times larger than our Sun, which is almost a million miles in diameter. The Sun is tilted.
- Apart from HEAT and LIGHT, the Sun also emits a stream of CHARGED PARTICLES called the SOLAR WIND.
The Solar Wind:-
- - Causes Radio INTERFERENCE at certain times
- - Produces the AURORA BOREALIS or "The NORTHERN LIGHTS"
- - Causes the characteristic TAILS of COMETS.
- - Alters the TRAJECTORY of SPACECRAFT
- The wind blows about 280 miles (450 kilometers) a second throughout the solar system. Every so often, a patch of particles will burst from the sun in a solar flare, which can disrupt satellite communications and knock out power on Earth. Flares usually stem from the activity of sunspots, cool regions of the photosphere related to a shifting magnetic field inside the sun.
- Without the Sun, Earth could not support life. The Sun gives off heat and light that the Earth needs to support life (us).
- If you lived on the Sun, and you built a spacecraft, it would have to go over 618.2 kilometers per second to escape the Sun’s gravitational pull. The Sun is 695,000 kilometers at its equator. The Sun is the largest mass in our Solar System.
- A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth.
- Sun loops are large loops caused by the Sun’s magma (molten rock) shooting off of the Sun’s surface. These loops can fly millions of miles into space. Our Sun is approximately 25,000 light-years from the galactic core of our galaxy (the Milky Way). It is like a really big star. It is a million times bigger than the biggest.
- Did you know that the Sun is made out of 92% hydrogen, 7% helium and the rest is other low number gasses? The Sun’s core is the hottest part of its matter. It is 27 billion° Fahrenheit.
- The Sun does not rise or set. It just looks like it does because the Earth is moving.
- The Earth orbits the Sun every 365 space days.
- Did you know that the Sun can burn over seven million tons of natural gas every second? The Sun rotates, too. It rotates every 25-36 days. It seems as if stars always stay in the same position night after night, year after year, but they actually do move over time. They helped scientists to develop a reference system for charting a planet’s movement.
- The moon does not give off light of its own.
It is the Sun that gives light to the Moon.
The Moon reflects the Sun’s light. A star is the only body in space that emits its own light; everything else reflects light from the closest star.
Did you know that about 65% of all “stars” are actually double stars? They are stars that look like one, but when viewed through a telescope, they are actually two stars.
- Stars vary in sizes. They can be as small as 7,000 miles in diameters, or as large as 900 billion miles in diameter. Some stars change in brightness over a period of time. They do this when the star’s temperature dramatically drops. These stars are called Variable Stars.
- A star has many different characteristics, such as their position, motion, size, mass, chemical ingredients and temperature. No two stars are exactly alike. The number of stars in the known Universe could exceed 300 Sextillion. Read More
- The Sun's power (about 386 billion billion megaWatts) is produced by nuclear fusion reactions.