The Sun

The Sun - King of The Solar System.

                The Sun is the most prominent feature in our solar system. It is the largest object and contains approximately 98% of the total solar system mass. One hundred and nine Earths would be required to fit across the Sun's disk, and its interior could hold over 1.3 million Earths. The Sun's outer visible layer is called the photosphere and has a temperature of 6,000°C (11,000°F). This layer has a mottled appearance due to the turbulent eruptions of energy at the surface.

                The Sun is personified in many mythologies. The Greeks called it Helios. The Sun's name comes from the Romans who called it Sol. The Sun is a star - it is not a planet. Our Sun is just like the stars we see in the night sky. The Sun is also the only star we see during the daytime.

               The Sun is so big that you could fit more than 1 million Earths inside of it! It measures more than a million kilometres across. 

               The Sun is about 75% hydrogen and 25% helium. This changes slowly over time as the Sun converts hydrogen to helium in its core (centre).The Sun's energy is produced by nuclear fusion reactions. It generates 386 billion billion megawatts of energy! 


              The Sun's surface, called the photosphere, is at a temperature of about 5800 K. There are some regions that are much "cooler." These cool regions are called "sunspots." Sunspots are only about 3800 K in temperature - this is why they look darker than the rest of the Sun.The Sun's centre is about 15 million degrees Celsius. The Sun is so hot that planets millions of kilometres away can feel its heat... That's *mighty hot*!

Sunspots can be as large as 50,000 km across! Scientists are still trying to explain what causes sunspots.

Here is a picture of a solar eclipse. What happens during a solar eclipse? The Moon passes directly between the Earth and Sun. When this happens, light from the Sun is blocked off for a short time. A solar eclipse can cause complete darkness - during the daytime!

Video of The Sun.