The Sun

The SunThe Sun is a standard ‘G’ sized star, compared to the smaller stars and large supernovas in our universe. All stars in the universe are made of gas held together by its own gravity. Every planet in our solar system revolves around the Sun and is held in orbit by the speed at which is revolves against the gravitational pull of the Sun. The closer the planet is to the Sun, the more the gravitational pull the sun has on the planet, but the faster the planet will revolve around it.

The temperature at the Sun’s core is about 27 million degrees and without its light and energy, there would be no life on earth. Formed about 4.5 billion years ago, it is estimated that it has another 4.5 billion years before it destroys itself into most likely a neutron star (larger stars would morph into a black hole, due to the much larger gravitational pull they have).

All stars are fused together (called nuclear fusion) by hydrogen atoms and helium atoms due to the powerful gravitational pull in the star’s core, resulting in the enormous amount of energy that becomes our sun. The energy of this star is so powerful that it is equivalent to the explosion of over 100 billion Hiroshima bombs per second. Hard to comprehend, but true. And noted before, our sun is just a standard size star. A star the size of Betelgeuse would release even more fusion energy per second.

Comparison of Sun with gas giant planets
Comparison of Sun with the gas giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

The sun contains more than 99 percent of the mass of the entire solar system. It would take 1.3 million Earths to fill up the Sun. Here us a quick calculation:

The volume of the Sun is 1.412 x 1018 km3. The volume of the Earth is 1.083 x 1012 km3. So if you divide the volume of the Sun by the volume of the Earth, you get 1,300,000. The size of the Earth is insignificant compared to the Sun. It is only about the size of an average sunspot.

When we look at the Sun (not recommended), we are actually looking at it as it was nine minutes ago, because the sun is about nine light minutes away from Earth, so if the Sun exploded right now, we would still have a comforting nine minutes longer to live.

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