Space - The Sun

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Absolute zero is the coldest possible temperature there is—the point at which molecules and atoms have stopped moving altogether. How much heat do you get from a star 2. Not much! So yes, the sun is hot. The surface area of your body—at least the side of it facing the sun—is about 1 square meter.

StoryBots Outer Space - Planets, Sun, Moon, Earth and Stars - Solar System Super Song - Fun Learning

Put another way, it would be like trying to use just one of those heaters to warm a giant cubic room about 2, meters along each side. Or, if it were a regular room with a 3-meter foot ceiling, it would be a square more than 66 km 41 miles along each side. With a single lousy electric heater in the middle of it. To see how that feels, try turning on your bedroom heater and sitting right up against it. Beyond that is the solar wind , an outflow of gas from the corona. The core extends from the sun's center to about a quarter of the way to its surface.

Although it only makes up roughly 2 percent of the sun's volume, it is almost 15 times the density of lead and holds nearly half of the sun's mass. Next is the radiative zone, which extends from the core to 70 percent of the way to the sun's surface, making up 32 percent of the sun's volume and 48 percent of its mass. Light from the core gets scattered in this zone, so that a single photon often may take a million years to pass through. The convection zone reaches up to the sun's surface, and makes up 66 percent of the sun's volume but only a little more than 2 percent of its mass.

Roiling "convection cells" of gas dominate this zone.

1st image from inside sun’s atmosphere

Two main kinds of solar convection cells exist — granulation cells about miles 1, kilometers wide and supergranulation cells about 20, miles 30, km in diameter. The photosphere is the lowest layer of the sun's atmosphere, and emits the light we see. It is about miles km thick, although most of the light comes from its lowest third. Temperatures in the photosphere range from 11, F 6, C at bottom to 7, F 4, C at top. Next up is the chromosphere, which is hotter, up to 35, F 19, C , and is apparently made up entirely of spiky structures known as spicules typically some miles 1, km across and up to 6, miles 10, km high.

After that is the transition region a few hundred to a few thousand miles thick, which is heated by the corona above it and sheds most of its light as ultraviolet rays. At the top is the super-hot corona, which is made of structures such as loops and streams of ionized gas. The corona generally ranges from , F , C to Matter from the corona is blown off as the solar wind.

Fun Sun Facts for Kids - Interesting Facts about the Sun

The strength of the sun's magnetic field is typically only about twice as strong as Earth's field. However, it becomes highly concentrated in small areas, reaching up to 3, times stronger than usual. These kinks and twists in the magnetic field develop because the sun spins more rapidly at the equator than at the higher latitudes and because the inner parts of the sun rotate more quickly than the surface. These distortions create features ranging from sunspots to spectacular eruptions known as flares and coronal mass ejections.

Earth's Sun: Facts About the Sun's Age, Size and History

Flares are the most violent eruptions in the solar system, while coronal mass ejections are less violent but involve extraordinary amounts of matter — a single ejection can spout roughly 20 billion tons 18 billion metric tons of matter into space. Just like most other stars, the sun is made up mostly of hydrogen, followed by helium. Nearly all the remaining matter consists of seven other elements — oxygen, carbon, neon, nitrogen, magnesium, iron and silicon.


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For every 1 million atoms of hydrogen in the sun, there are 98, of helium, of oxygen, of carbon, of neon, of nitrogen, 40 of magnesium, 35 of iron and 35 of silicon. Still, hydrogen is the lightest of all elements, so it only accounts for roughly 72 percent of the sun's mass, while helium makes up about 26 percent.


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  7. Sunspots are relatively cool, dark features on the sun's surface that are often roughly circular. They emerge where dense bundles of magnetic field lines from the sun's interior break through the surface.

    Characteristics of the sun

    The number of sunspots varies as solar magnetic activity does — the change in this number, from a minimum of none to a maximum of roughly sunspots or clusters of sunspots and then back to a minimum, is known as the solar cycle, and averages about 11 years long. At the end of a cycle, the magnetic field rapidly reverses its polarity. Ancient cultures often modified natural rock formations or built stone monuments to mark the motions of the sun and moon, charting the seasons, creating calendars and monitoring eclipses.

    Many believed the sun revolved around the Earth, with ancient Greek scholar Ptolemy formalizing this "geocentric" model in B. Then, in , Nicolaus Copernicus described a heliocentric, sun-centered model of the solar system, and in , Galileo Galilei 's discovery of Jupiter's moons revealed that not all heavenly bodies circled the Earth. To learn more about how the sun and other stars work, after early observations using rockets, scientists began studying the sun from Earth orbit.