Click the Planets for Planets tour
1. The SUN is just ONE of about 100 billion STARS in our GALAXY.
2. It has a DIAMETER of 1,390,000 km
3. Its CORE temperature is 15 million º C.
4. Its SURFACE temperature is 5,500 ºC. Cooler (3,800 ºC) surface areas are called SUN SPOTS.
5. It is the LARGEST object in the SOLAR SYSTEM and makes up 99.8% of the total MASS of the Solar System.
6. It consists of 75% HYDROGEN and 25% HELIUM.
7. The ENERGY output of the Sun is about 386 billion megawatts and is produced by NUCLEAR FUSION, using Hydrogen as fuel.
8. Apart from HEAT and LIGHT, the Sun also emits a stream of CHARGED PARTICLES called the SOLAR WIND.
The Sun is a star found at the center of the Solar System.
9. It makes up around 99.86% of the Solar System’s mass.
10. At around 1,392,000 kilometres (865,000 miles) wide, the Sun’s diameter is about 110 times wider than Earth’s.
11.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.
12. Light from the Sun reaches Earth in around 8 minutes.
13. The Sun’s surface temperature is around 5500 degrees Celsius (9941 degrees Fahrenheit), so pack plenty of sunscreen if you plan on visiting (remembering that the average distance from the Sun to the Earth is around 150 million kilometers).
14. The Sun’s core is around 13600000 degrees Celsius!
15.The Sun generates huge amounts of energy by combining hydrogen nuclei into helium. This process is called nuclear fusion.
16. Because of the Sun’s huge influence on Earth, many early cultures saw the Sun as a deity or god. For example, Ancient Egyptians had a sun god called Ra while in Aztec mythology there is a sun god named Tonatiuh.
17. The 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).
18. Planets with strong magnetic fields such as Earth manage to deflect most of these charged particles as they approach.