5 facts about the Sun presents some key information about this yellow dwarf star that is critical to human life. It currently mains temperatures of between 5,000 and 5,700 degrees celsius, but this will change as its life continues.
The Sun sits at the heart of our solar system and accounts for 99.86% of the mass within it. It isn’t made of anything solid like Earth but of gas and amounts to having 330,000 times more mass than our planet. The sun is made of 75% hydrogen and 25% helium.
More than 1,000,000 Earth’s could sit inside the Sun. If you squashed the Earth to fit inside, then 1,300,000 would fill it, but if you left our planet spherical, then it would be able to take 960,000 blue marbles. The Suns surface area is 11,990 times greater than the Earth.
The Sun is about 4.5 billion years old and is considered to be halfway through its life. The Sun is a yellow dwarf star but it will change later in its lifetime as it is expected to live for another 5 billion years. Towards the end of its life it will burn all of its hydrogen, instead burn helium, consume Mercury, Venus and then Earth and turn into a Red Giant star.
The Sun is an average of 150,000,000 km from Earth and it would take about 150 years to drive there in a motor car at 70mph. When light travels directly from the Sun to Earth it takes about 8 minutes 20 seconds at the speed of light which is 300,000 km per hour.
The Sun has a powerful magnetic field which creates solar storms that can impact on our communications systems on Earth. The energy that arrives on our planet from the Sun in 30 days is the same as the entire energy produced by humans through the consumption of fossil fuels since the beginnings of civilisation. The energy the Sun produces is delivered by nuclear fusion when four hydrogen nuclei are combined into helium nucleus.
If you want an absolute solar immersion, watch this video.