The Sun: Interesting Things You Might Not Know
Size of the Sun
When we look up at the sky on a sunny day, the sun looks so small even though it is the largest object in the solar system. It looks small because it is so far away. Did you know that the sun is so big that 1.3 million earths could fit inside it?
The sun is the biggest and most massive object in the solar system. Its mass comprises over 99.8 percent of the entire solar system. Its diameter is about 865,000 miles and it weighs as much as 330,000 earths.
The sun is the only thing that is close to a perfect sphere in nature. It is 400 times larger than the moon, but it is 400 times farther from the earth. Because of this, the two bodies look the same size to us.
Light from the Sun
Even though light travels faster than anything else in the universe, the light from the sun takes eight minutes and 20 seconds to reach the earth that is 93 million miles from the earth. The sun is as bright as 4 trillion trillion 100-watt light bulbs.
The inside of the sun can reach a temperature of 15 million degrees Celsius. Even though it is the hottest thing, it is not as hot on the inside as it is on the outside.
The Sun is a Star
Most people don't think of the sun being a star. They know it shines during the day, but it is not shaped like the other stars.
The sun, known as a yellow draft, is actually a star. In fact, it is the closest star to the earth. It is located at the center of the solar system and is responsible for the earth’s climate and weather.
Colors of the Sun
If you ask anybody, including children, what color the sun is they will say it is yellow. However, the sun is NOT yellow even though it looks yellows to us. It might also look white, but it is NOT white either.
People make the mistake of thinking that the sun is yellow, white, orange or even red. The sun is not just one color. The sun is made up of the same colors as the rainbow. All the colors are mixed together and they appear to our eyes as white as evident from pictures taken from space.
Scientist Sir Isaac Newton looked through a prism in 1666 and saw that the sun is made up of many colors. Actually, the sun has the same colors as the rainbow because a rainbow gets it light from the sun, and each color has its own wavelength.
The colors of the rainbow and the sun are in this order that spell ROY G. BIV.
R = Red
O = Orange
Y = Yellow
G = Green
B = Blue
I = Indigo
Composition of the Sun
The sun is composed of about 91 percent hydrogen 7.8 percent helium, and 1 percent other gases. It contains different layers with varying temperatures.
Rotations of the Sun
The sun is not limited to only one rotation. Since it is at the center of the solar system all the planets orbit around it including our own planet Earth. The sun rotates in the opposite direction to Earth. It rotates from west to east instead of east to west like Earth.
Different parts of the sun rotate at different speeds. It rotates fastest at its equator than it does close to its poles. The rotation time at the equator is about 25-27 days while at the poles it could take up to 36 days. This known as differential rotation.
It completes a revolution around the entire galaxy once every 250 million years.
Benefits of Sunlight
Some people take the sun for granted while others worship the sun. The solar system, including the sun, plays an important part in world religions and mythologies. The ancient Greeks and Romans regarded Apollo to be the god of medicine and healing as well as the god of sun and light.
We often hear songs and read poems and stories about the sun. The sun plays a major part in our health. People need sunshine in order to survive. Those who do not get enough sunlight will have a deficiency and have to take a large dosage of Vitamin D for healthy bones.
Getting enough sunlight during the day helps a person sleep better at night. Getting the right amount of sun increases levels of serotonin to help people from being depressed. People who are outside a lot are much calmer and tend to be in better moods than those who are always inside.
You can lose weight by getting your daily dose of sunlight. A study has shown that sunlight influences fat-triggering hormones and boost people's mood which gives them energy to get active.