Sun Facts

The Sun Profile

Age:4.6 Billion Years
Type:Yellow Dwarf (G2V)
Diameter:1,392,684 km
Equatorial Circumference4,370,005.6 km
Mass:1.99 × 10^30 kg (333,060 Earths)
Surface Temperature:5,500 °C

Human beings have looked to our Sun in a variety of ways. Some cultures worshipped the Sun as a god and others were deathly afraid of it.

People throughout history understood a few things about the Sun including that it is a primary ingredient that life on Earth requires. The Sun supplied energy for the vegetation for food, and is a priority for survival.

Unlike our ancestors, we now understand quite a bit more about the Sun and the intense amount of influence that it has. Our Sun is responsible for the interaction of all of the celestial bodies, including the planets, in our Solar System.

Who named The Sun

The planets in our Solar System have all been given names, but the Sun doesn’t have an official scientific name. The word has its origins from “Sol,” the ancient Roman god of the Sun, and that in turn relates to the term “solar system.”

What’s it made of?

The Sun is a sphere that is made up of two main gases hydrogen and helium. It is called a sequence star and was created after very specific conditions occurred. The first requirement was that it’s mass had to be large enough to fall into a specific range to cause nuclear fusion to occur.

There are debates on the size, but it’s typically thought to be around 80 times the mass of Jupiter. Jupiter is believed to have been too small, but if it had grown it would have become a star/Sun.

The second condition is that nuclear fusion has to occur. This is the process of two lighter atomic nuclei fusing together to make a heavier atomic nucleus. When it comes to stars, helium is the heaviest element and hydrogen is the lighter element.

How Big is The Sun

We may think that our Sun is huge, but in comparison to other stars, it isn’t the largest in the universe. Red giants are the biggest stars and red dwarfs are the smallest.

Or Sun is larger than most. It has a diameter that is around 870,000 miles (1.4 million km) which is nearing 110 times Earth’s diameter. That means we could fit about 1 million Earth’s inside of our Sun.

Are there other Suns?

We believe our Sun to be very special, but in reality, it is one of trillions of stars in the universe. Our Sun carries the star classification of GV, which is also called a Yellow Dwarf star.

The classification has more to do with the temperature of the Sun’s surface, which is between 5027 and 5727 degrees C. Scientists believe that just in our own Milky Way galaxy, there are around 7 billion stars similar to our own Sun.

If you do the math, it could equal over 1 trillion stars that are like our Sun in the universe.

The Sun’s satellites

PlanetDistance(000 km)Radius(km) Mass(kg)Discoverer Date
Mercury57,91024393.30e23
Venus108,20060524.87e24Galileo Galilei1610
Earth149,600 63785.98e24
Mars227,94033976.42e23Galileo Galilei1610
Jupiter778,330714921.90e27Galileo Galilei1610
Saturn1,426,940602685.69e26Galileo Galilei1610
Uranus2,870,990255598.69e25Herschel1781
Neptune4,497,070247641.02e26Galle1846

Facts about The Sun

  • The Sun has a mass of about 330,000 times of the Earth and accounts for 99.86% of the mass of the Solar System.
  • Three quarters of the sun is made up of hydrogen and almost all of the rest of its mass is helium.
  • The Sun does have a limited lifespan and while it will burn for about 130 million years, it will eventually stop burning hydrogen, burn helium and expand to engulf Mercury, Venus, and Earth.
  • When the Sun expands it will become a red giant star.
  • After the Sun becomes a red giant star it will eventually collapse to around the size of the Earth and become a white dwarf star.
  • The Sun is the closest thing to the shape of a perfect sphere for anything seen in nature.
  • The Sun is actually traveling through space at 220 km per second and takes around 225-250 million years for it to accomplish one orbit around the Milky Way galaxy.
  • Sunlight takes eight minutes from the Sun to reach the earth, traveling 300,000 km per second.
  • It takes millions of years for the energy of the Sun to travel from inside at its core all the way to the surface.
  • The Sun is rotating in the exact opposite direction to the Earth.
  • We don’t notice that the distance from the Sun to the Earth changes due to the Earth’s elliptical orbit path.
  • The Sun has a powerful magnetic field and it can create magnetic storms and solar flares.
  • The temperature inside of the Sun can get to 15 million degrees C.

The Sun Quiz