Our human ancestors believed that the Sun should be worshipped, because of the amazing features that it possesses. But, this was when humans could not scientifically explain things. Though the Sun really possess powers that serves as the source of energy for all living things on Earth, lets look at some interesting facts about our ‘super fireball’.
The Sun In General
As the center star of the Solar System, this yellow dwarf star provides us energy that is essential to all natural life on Earth. Its sphere is nearly perfect and has an equatorial circumference of 4,370,005.6 km. Its diameter is 1,392,684 km, which is multiple times that of the Earth. Because of this, about 960, 000 Earth-size planets can fit inside it.
It’s been estimated by experts that the sun, compared to the 85% of other stars in Milky Way, is brighter, and the brightest object that we can see from earth. In fact, its apparent magnitude is -26.74, which is about 13 billion times brighter than Sirius.
Its rotation is opposite to Earth’s. While Earth goes from East to West, the Sun rotates from West to East.
Basically, it is composed of hydrogen and helium, which in total 74.9% and 23.8% of the mass of the Sun. Other compositions, though they contribute less to its mass, are the elements called metals, oxygen, carbon, neon, and iron. However, the modified composition of the Sun is now 60% of helium, because of the nuclear fusion in the Sun, and’v the other elements in it are still the same.
The sun is 4.6 billion years old. Almost half of the Sun’s life has already vanished since its stored Hydrogen has been used up. It only has around 5 billion years left to burn more Hydrogen.
It was even stated that Sun’s temperature could reach 15,000,000 degrees Celsius. With this nuclear fusion, hydrogen converts to helium. And, because of its massive gravitational force, since hot things naturally expand, it can burst like a gigantic explosive.
Red Giant Will Eat Planets
The conversion of hydrogen to helium will lead to the expansion of Sun’s life and size. The Sun will then get bigger than ever and it will consume Mercury, Venus and then Earth.
After its red gigantic phase, it will break down, and become as small as the earth. The only part that will stay will be its enormous mass, which is almost equivalent to our planet. When this happens the sun will be called the white dwarf.
With its 150km average distance from the Earth, and its light drifting 300 thousand km/s, it can approximately reach the Earth within 8 minutes and 20 seconds. But that being said, the sunlight reaching our planet at such speeds still means that it takes longer for the light to travel and touch the Sun’s core. That shines some light on how big the sun is!
The distance of the Earth from the Sun differs all year round, for the Earth moves around the Sun in an elliptical orbit. Their bodies vary from 147 to 152 million km. Their distance is called an Astronomical Unit or AU.
The Sun produces a stream of charged particles, which is what we call solar wind. This consists generally of electrons, protons, and alpha particles. This stream of charged particles travel in the Solar System with an expected speed of 450 km per second. It arises on parts where the magnetic field of the yellow dwarf star spreads into space rather than following its surface.
More to Expect
Our scientists today continue to study the objects that surround us; these include further studies of the Sun and the things surrounding it.
Below is an image to feed your never-ending thirst for knowledge… Enjoy!