Interesting Facts About the Sun

These 16 Interesting Facts About the Sun Will Enlighten You

This article contains facts about the sun; the huge ball of fire that keeps us warm. It is one of the main reasons for the existence of life on planet Earth, and without it, this world would have been nothing but a huge mass of ice.
We have studied in our school and college textbooks, about how the sun is millions of years old, that it's a huge ball of fire which rises in the east and sets in the west. Besides these, there are several other interesting facts about it. Given below are some fun facts regarding this star.

Amazing Facts

The facts mentioned below emphasize how powerful this star actually is.
  1. The sun is a star which is around 4½ billion years old. Scientists have predicted it to shine for another 5 billion years.
  2. It accounts for 99.8% of the solar system's mass, while Jupiter, the largest of the eight planets, accounts for only 0.2% of the solar system's mass. 109 Earths would be needed just to fill its disk, while around 1.2 million Earths would be needed to fill its interior.
  3. Light from the sun travels over a distance of around 93 million miles in order to reach the Earth, in about 8.3 to 9 minutes.
  4. 74% of the sun is made up of hydrogen, while 24% comprises helium. The rest 2% contains small amounts of iron, oxygen, and some other elements which are present in our solar system.
  5. There are at least 200 billion stars in our universe and the sun is one of them. Of these 200 billion, only 6,000 stars can be seen by the naked eye, and the sun is one of them. Also, it is not the largest star in the universe.
  6. Its surface temperature is around 5,800 K, and the temperature at its center is around 15.7 million K .
  7. The amount of energy produced by it is approximately 385 billion-billion megawatts, out of which, the Earth receives around 95 billion megawatts.
  8. It is made up of several layers. Its outer most layer is called 'photosphere', and it is made up of dense gases. This is the only layer that is visible to us. Just beneath this layer is the 'convective zone', where the heat moves slowly from the inner layers to the surface. Beneath this layer is the radiative zone, and this is where the hydrogen and helium reactions take place.
  9. It produces a stream of particles having low density, known as solar wind, which contains electrons and protons, and blows across the solar system at a speed of 450 km/sec.
  10. Different parts of the sun rotate at different speeds. The region at the equator takes around 25 days for one rotation, its inside region takes 27 days, and the area near the poles takes 36 days.
  11. The sun too revolves around the milky way, and it takes 225,000,000 years to complete one round around the milky way, while traveling at a speed of 800,000 km per hour.
  12. Only 55% of Americans know that it is a star.
  13. You will never see a solar eclipse last for more than 7 minutes and 58 seconds.
  14. The sun is not the hottest, because, some lighting bolts can be even hotter.
  15. If it stops shining, then we would need about 8 minutes to realize the same.
  16. The Aztecs believed that 'sunset' actually meant that the sun was dead, and that it needed human blood so that it could get the strength to rise up the next day. They sacrificed 15,000 men every year for this purpose.
These were some facts about this huge star.