Sun is the center of our solar system. Earth and other planets revolve around the Sun under the influence of gravity exerted by the star. Life on Earth is sustained because of the perfect distance between Earth and the Sun. Should the Earth be any nearer or farther, there could have been catastrophic implications on the life on the planet Earth.
In many cultures around the world, the Sun is regarded as a deity and worshiped as a source of life and power. The Sun represents light which removes darkness.
As a celestial body, Sun is essentially a yellow-dwarf star. It is located inside the Milky Way galaxy, about 25,000 and 28,000 light-years away from the center.
Interesting Facts about the Sun
- How old is the Sun?
Well, the Sun was formed roughly about 4.6 billion years ago. A very long long time ago! Nevertheless, the Sun is in the middle of its age. It will survive for another 5 billion years or so.
- Composition of the Sun
The Sun is composed of Hydrogen (73%) and Helium (25%). The remaining 2% is occupied by elements like Oxygen, Carbon, Neon, and Iron.
- Source of Sun’s Energy
The source of Sun’s energy is nuclear fusion of Hydrogen gas. It is estimated the the Sun fuses about 600 million tonnes of Hydrogen every second. As a result the Sun converts about 4 million tonnes of matter into the energy.
- Temperature of the Sun
On hot summer days, we feel that the sun is very hot. But what we feel is nothing compared to the real temperature of the Sun. At the core, Sun’s temperature is 15 million degree Celsius. On the surface temperature of Sun is about 5600 °C.
- What will happen when the Sun will die?
Hydrogen in Sun’s core will all be fused in 5.4 billion years from now. Then the Sun will become a red-giant star and it will expand, engulfing Earth in the process. We have just a few billion years to find ourselves a new home!
- How big is the Sun?
The diameter of the Sun is about 1.39 million kilometers (864,000 miles). The Sun holds the 99.86% mass of the entire solar system. Sun’s mass is about 330,000 times that of the Earth.
- The Sun also moves!
Just like Earth revolves around the Sun, the entire solar system also revolves around the center of Milky Way. The speed of the Sun is about 220 kilometers per second as it orbits the Milky Way.
- Sunlight takes a long time to reach Earth
We know that the speed of light is about 300,000 kilometers per second and the distance between the Sun and Earth is 150 million kilometers. From these two figure, it’s easy to know that sunlight takes about 8 minutes and 20 seconds to reach the Earth. So, the first ray of sunlight that you see in the morning, traveled for several minutes and covered millions of kilometers to reach your eyes!
- The Sun is almost perfectly spherical
The equatorial diameter and polar diameter of the Sun differ only by about 10 kilometers. Given the size of the Sun, this difference is negligible and it makes the Sun an almost perfect sphere! Remember, our planet Earth is not spherical. The difference between equatorial diameter and polar diameter of Earth is about 42 kilometers — which is quite a lot as Earth is much smaller than the Sun.
- Astronomical Unit (AU)
We often refer very large numbers to as astronomical figures. The distance between the Sun and the Earth is used as a unit to measure astronomical distances. This unit is called Astronomical Unit (AU) and it is equal to 149,597,870,700 meters.