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Facts About The Sun
By Ronald Jensen © Ronald Jensen 2007 All rights reserved.
We know when the sun is shining, because we see how it lights up everything, and we feel itís warmth. It is too bright to look at, so we let scientists and others study it with special instruments. It has been studied a lot because it is our nearest star. Here are some interesting facts about the sun:
Distance from earth: 93 million miles.
Diameter: 870,000 miles. (Diameter of the Earth: 7926 miles).
Distance to nearest star: 4.3 light years. (One light year: the distance light can travel in one year at a speed of 186,300 miles per second).
There are 31,536,000 seconds in one year. Multiply this by 186,300 miles = 5,875,156,800,000 miles times 4.3 years = 25,263,174,240,000 (this is 25 trillion) total miles from the sun to the nearest star called the red dwarf star or Ēproxima centauriĒ.
The sunís mass: 330,000 times the mass of the earth.
Density: 1.41 (the density of water is 1)
Solar wind speed: 3 million km/hour.
Solar cycle: 8 to 11 years.
Temperature at core: 22.5 million degrees f.
Rotation period at equator: 25 earth days.
Rotation period at poles: 35 earth days.
Luminosity: 390 billion billion megawatts (a megawatt = one million watts).
Temperature at the surface: 11,000 degrees f.
Nearest galaxy: Andromeda Galaxy (4 times bigger than our Milky Way Galaxy, which the earth and the sun are in), 2 million light years away.
Our Milky Way Galaxy is just one of billions of galaxies known. In our galaxy is the solar system, which consists of the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
The Milky Way: The whole solar system, together with the local stars, visible on a clear night, orbits the center of our galaxy, a spiral disk of 200 billion stars we call the Milky Way.
A strange thing about the sun is that most of it is not solid, but is like a ball of jelly, because it is made up of mostly gasses, which move about. Thatís why it rotates at a different speed at the poles than at the equator.
It has a terrific effect on people, animals, plants and all living things on the earth. It shines in tiny places, through cracks, and covers the whole earth as we rotate around the sun each day. On the days when it is cloudy we can easily become depressed. It is amazing the effect the sun has on us. The sun is 4.5 billion years old, and it will continue to be there, doing what it is doing now, for another 5 billion years! We could not live without the sun!
The Sun is a very important part of our life, yet we know so little about it, and really do take it for granted, hoping that it will always be there tomorrow, and continue to shine.
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