The Sun

File:The sun1.jpg Our Sun is the nearest star to Earth
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System – almost perfectly spherical and
consists of hot plasma (gas) interwoven with magnetic fields.

The Sun

  • medium-sized and yellow star – measures 870,000 miles across and 109 times the diameter of the Earth in length.
  • it is made of gases – hydrogen and helium (the lightest gases in the Universe).
  • it weights 2,000 trillion trillion tonnes – about 300,000 times as much as the Earth’s weight.
  • heating by nuclear reactions to  temperatures of 15 millionºC.
  • visible surface layer of our Sun is called photosphere – sea of boiling gas sends out the light and heat that we see and feel on Earth.
  • flames – it’s called spicules dart through a thin layer above the photoshere called the chromosphere.
  • above the chromsphere – the Sun’s halo `look-like` corona (see above the photo)
  • the heat from the Sun – erupts on the surface called granules or gigantic arcs of hot gases called solar prominence.
  • why our Sun gets hot? – because of so big and pressure inside the Sun; core is tremendous. (hydrogen atoms to fuse (join together) to make helium atoms, this nuclear fusion reaction is like nuclear bomb to release huge amounts of energy.
  • nuclear fusion reactions – five million tonnes of gas into energy every one second, but the energy takes ten million years to reach the surface.
  • the temperature of the Sun’s surface is 6,000ºC – each one centimeter square burns with the brightness of 250,000 candles.

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Cutaway of our Sun with details
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More information facts about our Sun

Back to The Solar System page.

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