Harvey's Space Adventure: The Sun


Click and drag to rotate the sun!

Source: NASA Visualization Technology Applications and Development (VTAD)


You see lots of stars in the night sky, but there is one star that gives its light during the daytime: the sun! The sun is a star, and it's a pretty important one for life on Earth.


Here are some interesting facts about the sun:



Yes, the sun is a star! A star is a hot, glowing ball of gas. The sun is the closest star to the earth, and it's the only star in our solar system. In fact, it's the center of our solar system.



Everything in our solar system revolves around the sun. Large objects in space attract other large objects near them. This is called a gravitational pull. (If you read about the moon, you might remember that!) The sun's gravitational pull keeps all the planets in our solar system in orbit around the sun.



The sun is huge! It's about 100 times wider than Earth and about 10 times wider than Jupiter, the biggest planet.



The sun does not have a solid surface like Earth. It is made of super-hot, electrically charged gas called plasma.



The sun is hot! At its core, it's about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit!



Sunspots are areas on the surface of the sun that appear dark because they are cooler than other parts of the sun’s surface. Solar flares are sudden explosions of energy near sunspots.



The sun is so far away that it takes light from the sun 8 minutes and 20 seconds to get to us. And light can travel 186,000 miles per second! That's fast!



Nothing can live on the sun, but it makes life possible on Earth. It heats the earth, and because God placed the earth at just the right distance from the sun, it's not too hot or too cold on our planet! The sun's light also makes it possible for plants and animals to live and grow.



Image of solar flares on the sun

Source: NASA/SDO

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