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The Sun, which is also referred to as “Sol”, is at the centre of the solar system and is the star that influences the climate and the weather of the Earth. The Sun is a perfect sphere and the average radius of the Sun is approximately 695,508 km. 20 to 25 % of this is just the core.
Must know About the Sun
- The temperature at the centre of the Sun is 15 million degree Celsius.
- The color of Sun appears to be white to us as it is all the colors mixed together.
- Sun is composed of hydrogen and helium.
- The Sun is approximately 4.6 billion years ago.
- The Sun is 330,000 times more massive than the Earth.
Detailed Facts About the Sun
- Around a million Earths could fit inside the Sun
If the Sun, at the size it is now, was hollow, it could almost fit around 960,000 Earths inside it. But if the Earths were not in their spherical form, this limit could be around 150,000. The area of the Sun is 11,990 times than that of the Earth.
- The Sun consists around 99.86% of mass of the entire solar system
- The Sun is a perfect sphere
The difference in the polar diameter and equatorial diameter is around 10 kilometer. You probably don’t imagine something like the Sun to be uniform like it is. But, when the vast expanse of the Sun is considered, this would mean that the Sun is the closest thing to a perfect sphere.
- The temperature of the Sun can almost be 15 million degree Celsius
The energy in the core of the Sun is generated from the nuclear fusion while hydrogen is converted into helium. Hot objects generally expand, so in a general case, something that has the temperature of the Sun would definitely explode. But in this case, because of the gravitational force, the Sun does not explode and stays intact. The temperature of the Sun is 5,600 degree Celsius closer to the surface.
- The Sun will end up consuming the Earth
The Sun will continue to exist for about another 130 million years but after all the hydrogen is burnt, the helium would be burnt too and the Sun would expand to such a size that it would end up consuming Mercury, Venus and Earth. The Sun would then be a red giant instead of the white star we see glowing bright in the sky.
- Sun may shrink to the size of the Earth
After the Sun is red and has consumed the three closest planets, it will collapse. Most of its size would be retained and the size of the Sun would be that of the Earth. The volume and the mass of Sun would be as is of our planet. When this happens, the Sun would be termed as the white dwarf.
- It takes the light eight minutes to reach the Earth from the Sun.
The average distance between the Earth and the Sun is approximately 150 million kilometers and as light travels at 300,000 kilometers per second, the light would take approximately 500 seconds or almost eight and a half minutes to reach the Earth. Even though the travelling of light from the Sun to the Earth would not take that long, the light would have taken million of years to get from the core of the Sun to the surface of the Sun.
- Sun travels at 220 kilometers per second
The Sun is almost 24,000 to 26,000 light years from the galactic centre and it would take the Sun almost 225 to 250 million year to complete a single rotation on the orbit of the centre on the milky way.
- The astronomical unit changes throughout the year
The distance between the Sun and the Earth is said to be the astronomical unit and it changes throughout the year. It may go from 147 million kilometers to 152 million kilometers. This is because the Earth travels on the elliptical orbit around the Sun.
- The Sun is middle aged
Till date, the Sun is almost 4.5 billion years old and has already burnt off about half of its hydrogen and can still survive for over 4.8 billion years approximately. This shows that the Sun has lived half of its life.
- Sun has a strong magnetic field
The solar flare that a Sun has only occurs when the magnetic energy is released during magnetic storms by the Sun. We see these as Sun spot. The magnetic lines are then twisted and they almost spin, just like a tornado on Earth would.
- Solar winds are generated by the Sun
There is a stream of particles that are charged. These particles travel through the solar system at approximately 450 kilometer per second. The solar wind occurs the magnetic field goes beyond the boundaries of the Sun and spreads out into the space.
There is always ongoing analysis and research on the sun and solar physics, and we constantly learn more. There are other amazing and interesting aspects connected to the sun as well, such as facts about sun gazing and urban green and the age old question about how much energy the Sahara Dessert can produce.