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Forty Fiery Facts About The Sun. by Taamas222 (f): 5:59pm on June 7
Junior Taamas
, Nigeria.
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The Sun sits at the centre of our Solar System,
and at the centre of our lives. It marks the
passage of time for us, gives us light to grow
food and its rays nourish the all the life on our
planet – allowing us to thrive.
It also creates some of the most beautiful
visual effects in the sky – when you think of all
the Sun does for us you can understand why
some cultures worshipped it as a God.

And when you read these awesome facts about
the Sun you, too, will be in awe of our star like
those ancient races.

1. The Sun weighs an incredible
1,989,100,000,000,000,000,000 billion
kilograms. That’s roughly the weight of
330,060 Earths!

2. If the Sun was hollow, then it could be filled
up with approximately 960,000 spherical
Earths. However, if the Earths were squashed
inside the hollow Sun with no space wasted
then about 1,300,000 would fit inside.

3. The Sun’s surface area is 11,990 times greater
than the surface area of the Earth.

4. Our Sun is just one of approximately 100
billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy!

5. Many believe that there are nine planets
orbiting around the Sun in our Solar System –
these being Mercury , Venus, Earth, Mars ,
Jupiter , Saturn , Uranus and Neptune . However,
there are technically only eight as Pluto is
classified as a Dwarf Planet.

6. There are also four other Dwarf Planets kept in
orbit by our Sun’s massive gravitational pull.
These are Ceres, Haumer, Makemake and Eris.

7. The Sun is the impeccably perfect size, shape,
brightness, age, temperature and distance for
life to exist on Earth. If it were any different in
these categories – ever so slightly – life as we
know it wouldn’t exist.

8. The Sun started out its life-cycle like all other
stars do, as a gas cloud called a Nebula.
Initially the gas and dust which created our
Sun would have been in the form of a dense
cloud that would have been approximately
-226 degrees Celsius. Parts of this cloud would
have started to collapse under their own
gravity to form flecks called Proto-Stars.

9. As the Proto-Stars collapse, gravitational
energy is converted into heat and this causes
the Proto-Star to glow red. It continues to
condense until nuclear reactions within its
core halt the gravitational collapse. This means
the Proto-Star has become a Star and is in its
Main Sequence.

10. At 4.6 billion years old, our Sun is in its Main
Sequence stage and considered a middle-aged
star. This means it is halfway through its life
and it is currently known as a Yellow Dwarf.

11. When all of the Hydrogen in the Sun has
burned up, it will continue to burn all the
Helium within it for about 130 million years.
During this time it will expand to the point that
it will swallow Mercury, Venus and the Earth.
By this point our Sun will have become a Red

12. After the Sun has transitioned through the red
giant phase, its outer layers will be ejected as
the core continues to shrink. This process is
known as a planetary nebula and is defined as
a shell of hot gas that is expelled from a star
going through its late stages of evolution.

13. As this happens the Sun’s core will retain its
gigantic mass, but will contain the approximate
volume of our planet. When this happens it will
be known as a White Dwarf, which will be
surrounded by the planetary nebula.

14. The Sun’s gigantic mass is accountable for
99.86% of the mass in our Solar System.

15. The composition of the Sun is roughly 75%
Hydrogen and 25% Helium. Various metals
make up less than 0.1% of the Sun’s mass.

16. The Sun is surrounded by a plasma aura called
a ‘corona’ – that’s Latin for ‘crown’. The Sun’s
corona reaches millions of kilometres out into
space and it is seen most easily during a total
solar eclipse.

17. However, there is a specialist type of telescope
called a ‘coronagraph’, with which you can
view things very close to Sun like its corona,
other planets and sun-grazing comets. It works
by using a disk to block out the Sun’s bright

18. With a mean distance of 150 million kilometres
from the Sun to the Earth, it takes light
roughly eight minutes and 20 seconds to travel
to the Earth.

19. Although it only takes the Sun’s rays less than
10 minutes to travel to the Earth, it will have
already taken millions of years for them to
travel from the Sun’s core to its surface.

20. Although the mean distance between the Sun
and the Earth is 150 million kilometres, the
distance itself actually fluctuates yearly. This is
because the Earth moves around the Sun on an
elliptical orbit, meaning that the distance
between the two varies from 147 to 152
million kilometres. The distance between the
Sun and the Earth is known as an Astronomical
Unit (AU).

Continue reading below

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Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
100Level, Nigeria.
21. If you were to take a journey to the Sun in a
normal airliner flying at its regular speed
(about 644km/h), it would take you 20 years to
get there without stopping!

22. There is only a 10 kilometre difference in the
Sun’s polar diameter when compared with its
equatorial diameter. This means it is almost a
perfect sphere, but it is not the most spherical
planet in our Solar System however, as that
title belongs to Venus.

23. Unlike the Earth, which makes a rotation once
every 24 hours, the Sun rotates on its axis
once every 25 days. Well, once every 25 days
at its equator, and once every 36 days at its
poles. This is because the Sun’s rotation rate
decreases with increasing latitude, when
combined with the tilt of the Sun’s axis, it
means that the rotation of the poles happens
at a slower speed than the rotation of the
equator. Think of if you put a pencil through
an apple at an angle so it protruded out of the
top and bottom of the apple. Now if you
turned the apple, the middle of the apple
would make a full rotation quicker than the
pieces of pencil sticking out at an angle.

24. The Sun is 24,000 – 26,000 light years away
from the galactic centre, and it takes the Sun
225 – 250 million years to complete an orbit
of the Milky Way’s centre.

25. While completing this orbit the Sun travels at
136.7 miles per second.

26. Energy within the Sun’s core is generated
through nuclear fusion, as Hydrogen converts
to Helium. The energy output of the Sun is
roughly 386 billion Megawatts.

27. Due to the fact that Helium is lighter than
Hydrogen, every time Hydrogen nuclei fuse
together to create Helium nuclei within the
Sun’s core, it loses a small amount of its mass.

28. During the nuclear fusion process that takes
place within the Sun, the core can reach
staggering temperatures of 150 million degrees

29. The surface of the Sun is approximately 5,500
degrees Celsius, although this seems chilly in
comparison to the core’s temperature.

30. As the Sun creates energy within its core, the
heat from this causes expansion. If not for its
enormous gravitational force, the Sun would
explode like a giant bomb.

31. The Sun has an incredibly powerful magnetic
field, and due to this it has many magnetic
storms. During these magnetic storms solar
flares occur, and we can see them when
looking at photos of the Sun, where they show
as (comparably) dark spots on its surface.
These are called Sunspots, and in Sunspots the
magnetic lines in the storms are twisted and
they spin, similar to a tornado on Earth.

32. The number of Sunspots appearing on the Sun
varies significantly, with a peak number of
Sunspots being visible about every 11 years.
This means that the Sun has a cycle of
behaviour which repeats itself every 11 years.

33. The Sun sometimes generates something called
solar winds, which are streams of charged
particles like protons and electrons that travel
through the Solar System at roughly 450
kilometres per second.

34. These solar winds are created when when the
particle stream builds up enough kinetic
energy to escape the Sun’s intense centre of
gravity and the Sun’s corona.

35. Solar winds can be responsible for several
different inconveniences experienced by
mankind such as radio interference, as well as
the way they often alter the trajectory of

36. Solar winds also create some of space’s more
beautiful phenomenons such as the dazzling
tails of comets and the Aurora Borealis, or The
Northern Lights.

37. Planets like the Earth that have strong
magnetic fields tend to deflect most of the
charged particles that make up solar winds as
they approach the planet.

38. Over mankind’s history the Sun has played a
huge influence in many ancient religions. Often
viewed as the giver of life, many early cultures
saw the Sun as a deity. The Egyptians had a Sun
God named Ra, and the Aztecs also had a Sun
God called Tonatiuh.

39. Many centuries ago astrologers believed that
the Earth was the centre of the our Universe,
with the Sun as a planet orbiting it. They
thought that the Moon was the closest planet,
then either Mercury, Venus or the Sun as the
next-closest planet, with Jupiter and Saturn
orbiting the Earth the furthest away.

40. If the Sun’s bright surface was removed, we
would only see darkness. Although the Sun’s
outer surface glows bright enough to burn
your retinas, the Sun’s core is pitch black.


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