|Age:||4.6 Billion Years|
|Type:||Yellow Dwarf (G2V)|
|Equatorial Circumference||4,370,005.6 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 Quiz