Even though everything with Pumbaa is gas, he was right about stars being “balls of gas burning billions of miles away”. Our Sun, is one of these great balls of gas. This center of our Solar System is technically a G-type main-sequence star, more commonly called a yellow dwarf star. Playing a major role in numerous ancient religions, the Sun has always amazed our species. Forming about 4.6 billion years ago, the Sun is essential to everything that occurs on our rocky world. Below are some facts about the sun.
1. The Sun is 99.86% of all of the mass in the Solar System
The Sun in unfathomably massive when compared to the rest of our Solar system. The radius of the Sun is 864,576 miles (1,391,400 km). Light traveling at 186,000 mi/s (300,000 km/s) would take 4.638 seconds to travel from one side to the other!
2. Every second the Sun fuses 600 million tons of hydrogen into helium
Better known as nuclear fusion, the Sun combines two hydrogen atomic nuclei together to form helium. Eventually the Sun will run out of hydrogen, having converted it all to helium.
At this point, the Sun will undergo a significant change in its core and outer layers, eventually transforming our yellow dwarf into a red giant. The size of the Sun at this point will be large enough to engulf Mercury and Venus. Even though this would make the Earth inhabitable, it’s still five billion years away… so don’t worry about it. They grow up so fast don’t they…
3. The Sun is moving at 137 miles (220 km) per second
Our solar system is moving even though it doesn’t seem it is. Our solar system is about 25,000 light years (just for a dumb reference that’s 1.4697 E+17 miles) away from the center of the Milky Way galaxy. We travel around this spinning disk and the Sun which holds us in place, travels around it at 137 miles per second.
4. The Sun is VERY VERY hot!
Due to its immense weight and size, the temperatures in the core of the Sun can reach 15,710,000 Kelvin. That’s around 28.3 million degrees F (15.7 million degrees C). And I thought the stove got hot.
5. The northern lights and caused by the Sun
The Aurora Borealis (northern hemisphere) and Aurora Australis (southern hemisphere) are a natural display of lights generally seen around the Arctic and Antarctic regions. These are caused by the solar winds ejected from the Sun that collide with the Earth’s magnetic field. Upon impact, these charged particles are forced into the magnetic field lines where they collide with atmospheric gases and release photons of light, which we see as the northern lights
6. The Sun could fit over a million Earth’s inside it
If we could open up the Sun and start dumping Earths into it, there would be 960,000 spherical Earth’s that could fit. Now, if we could squash them to remove any space, we could get 1,300,000 Earths in there. Stupid fact? yes, but cool none the less 🙂
7. The Sun weighs 4.4×10^30 pounds (2×10^30 kg)
2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg or 4,400,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds. Enough said
8. The Sun rotates
Our very own personal flaming star rotates every 25-36 Earth days.
9. The Sun is one of the brightest stars in the Milky Way
Most of the stars in our galaxy are red dwarfs, which are considered low luminosity. The Sun a G dwarf star (yellow dwarf) is estimated to be brighter than 85% of the stars of the Milky Way. I’m so proud!
10. Sunspots are temporary dark spots on the Sun
These dark spots that appear on the surface of our Sun are areas of reduced temperature. They are caused by areas of high magnetic fields. These fields are higher than anywhere else on the Sun and cause a decrease in the atmosphere pressure. This lowers the temperature of the area and prevents the flow of new gases towards the Sun’s core. Averaging the size of our Earth, these dark spots are temporary. Source: National Weather Service