Diameters: 1.392 million km
Radius: 696,000 km
Circumference: 4,366,813 km
Volume: 1.4 x 1027 cubic meters
Mass: 1.989 x 1030 kilograms
- Around 74% of the Sun’s mass is made up of hydrogen. Helium makes up around 24% while heavier elements such as oxygen, carbon, iron and neon make up the remaining percentage.
- Light from the Sun reaches Earth in around 8 minutes.
- Surface temperature the Sun is around 5500 degrees Celsius (9941 degrees Fahrenheit),
- Sun’s core is around 13600000 degrees Celsius!
- A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth.
- Sun contains 99.8 percent of the mass of the entire solar system
- It generates huge amounts of energy by combining hydrogen nuclei into helium. This process is called nuclear fusion.
- Sun produces a solar wind which contains charged particles such as electrons and protons. They escape the Sun’s intense gravity because of their high kinetic energy and the high temperature of the Sun’s corona (a type of plasma atmosphere that extends into space).
- Planets with strong magnetic fields such as Earth manage to deflect most of these charged particles as they approach.
- Sun is over 4.5 billion years old. It started as a cloud of dust and gas.
- Some areas on the Sun’s surface are cooler than others. These areas look darker. They are called sun spots.
- Sun is almost a perfect sphere. Considering the sheer size of the Sun, there is only a 10 km difference in its polar and equatorial diameters – this makes it the closest thing to a perfect sphere observed in nature.
- Sun is travelling at 220 km per second. It is around 24,000-26,000 light-years from the galactic center and it takes the Sun approximately 225-250 million years to complete one orbit of the center of the Milky Way.
- The distance between Earth and Sun changes. This is because the Earth travels on a elliptical orbit path around the Sun. The distance between the two ranges from 147 to 152 million km. This distance between them is one Astronomical Unit (AU).
- The Sun rotates in the opposite direction to Earth with the Sun rotating from west to east instead of east to west like Earth.
- Sun has a powerful magnetic field. When magnetic energy is released by the Sun during magnetic storms, solar flares occur which we see on Earth as sunspots. Sunspots are dark areas on the Sun’s surface caused by magnetic variations. The reason they appear dark is due to their temperature being much lower than surrounding areas.
- The atmosphere of the Sun is composed of three layers: the photosphere, the chromosphere, and the corona.
- The Sun is classified as a yellow dwarf star.
- The Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis are caused by the interaction of solar winds with Earth’s atmosphere.
- Throughout the year the earth moves closer to the Sun, Earth is at it’s closest to the sun around January 2, it is farthest away around July 2 of each year