Tuesday, July 23, 2013

All About The Sun: Facts, Photos, Inspiration

The Sun is one out of billions of stars.  The Sun is the closest star to Earth.  The Sun rotates once every 27 days.  The Sun is now a middle-aged star, meaning it is at about the middle of its life.  The Sun formed over four and a half billion years ago.  You may think the Sun will die soon, but it will keep shining for at least another five billion years.  
    The Sun’s surface is called the photosphere.  The temperature of the photosphere is about 10,000° Fahrenheit.  Its core is under its atmosphere. The temperature at the core, or very middle, of the Sun, is about 27 million° Fahrenheit.  That’s pretty hot!  
  The Sun’s diameter is about 870,000 miles wide.  The Sun is 109 times wider than Earth, and is 333,000 times heavier.  That means if you put the Sun on a scale, you would need 333,000 objects that weigh as much as the Earth on the other side to make it balance.  
   The Sun is only one of over 100 billion stars.  In ancient times, the people believed the Sun was a burning ball of fire created by the gods.  Later, people thought it was a solid object, or a liquid ball.  Over one million Earths could fit inside the Sun.   Looking directly at the Sun can permanently damage your eyes because it is so bright.  A star mostly gives off light and heat.  The larger the star, the hotter its temperature.  A supergiant star can get to be 400 times larger than our Sun, which is almost a million miles in diameter.  The Sun is tilted.
  Without the Sun, Earth could not support life.  The Sun gives off heat and light that the Earth needs to support life (us).  If you lived on the Sun, and you built a spacecraft, it would have to go over 618.2 kilometers per second to escape the Sun’s gravitational pull.  The Sun is 695,000 kilometers at its equator.  The Sun is the largest mass in our Solar System. 
 Sun loops are large loops caused by the Sun’s magma (molten rock) shooting off of the Sun’s surface.  These loops can fly millions of miles into space.  Our Sun is approximately 25,000 light-years from the galactic core of our galaxy (the Milky Way).  It is like a really big star.  It is a million times bigger than the biggest. 
   Did you know that the Sun is made out of 92% hydrogen, 7% helium and the rest is other low number gasses? The Sun’s core is the hottest part of its matter.  It is 27 billion° Fahrenheit.  The Sun does not rise or set.  It just looks like it does because the Earth is moving.  The Earth orbits the Sun every 365 space days.  Can you believe that the Sun can burn over seven million tons of natural gas every second?  A star can live for over three billion years.  If the Sun was hollow, you could fit 333,000 Earths inside!  The Sun rotates, too.  It rotates every 25-36 days.  It seems as if stars always stay in the same position night after night, year after year, but they actually do move over time.  They helped scientists to develop a reference system for charting a planet’s movement.  
  The moon does not give off light of its own.  It is the Sun that gives light to the Moon.  The Moon reflects the Sun’s light. A star is the only body in space that emits its own light; everything else reflects light from the closest star.  Can you believe that it is over 4.24 light-years to the nearest star?  Did you know that about 65% of all “stars” are actually double stars?  They are stars that look like one, but when viewed through a telescope, they are actually two stars.  Stars vary in sizes.  They can be as small as 7,000 miles in diameters, or as large as 900 billion miles in diameter.  Some stars change in brightness over a period of time.  They do this when the star’s temperature dramatically drops.  These stars are called Variable Stars.  
 A star has many different characteristics, such as their position, motion, size, mass, chemical ingredients and temperature.  No two stars are exactly alike.  The number of stars in the known Universe exceeds one billion.
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