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It's hot enough to melt any
metal. It's so far away that its
light takes eight minutes to
reach your eyes. If it were a
hollow ball, more than one
million Earths could fit inside it.
The sun is a star. It is a huge, spinning,
glowing sphere of hot gas. The sun is just
like the stars that you see in the night sky. It
appears so much larger and brighter than
the other stars because we are so close to it.
The sun is the center of our solar system.
All of the planets in our solar system,
including Earth, orbit around the sun.
How far is the sun from earth?
The sun is at an average distance of about 93,000,000
miles away from Earth. It is so far away that light from
the sun, traveling at a speed of 186,000 miles (300,000
meters) per second, takes about 8 minutes to reach us.
Like all of the other planets in our solar system, Earth
does not travel around the sun in a perfect circle.
Instead its orbit is elliptical, like a stretched circle.
Does the Sun rotate?
• Let’s check it out?
Does the Sun revolve?
• NO it does not!
What is the sun made of?
The sun is a huge, glowing sphere of hot gas. Most of
this gas is hydrogen (about 70%) and helium (about
28%). Carbon, nitrogen and oxygen make up 1.5% and
the other 0.5% is made up of small amounts of many
other elements. The sun shines because it is burning
hydrogen into helium in its extremely hot core. This
means that as time goes on, the sun has less hydrogen
and more helium.
Why does the sun have spots?
The sun has a magnetic field that is twisted around
inside the sun as it spins. There are places on the sun
where this magnetic field rises up from below the sun's
surface and pokes through, creating sunspots.
Sunspots are magnetic and often have a north and
south pole like a magnet. They come and go over the
surface of the sun and last from a few days to a few
How big is a sunspot?
The average sunspot is about the size of the entire planet Earth!
However, sunspots come in a variety of sizes ranging from
hundreds to tens of thousands of miles across (many times larger
that Earth). Scientists measure the total size (area) of all of the
sunspots seen on the sun every day to get a measure of how
active the sun is. Sunspots are not permanent. They appear and
disappear on the surface of the sun. They are cooler than the rest
of the sun, but are still very hot!
Click on the
telescope see
current images of
the sun