- Containing more than 99.8% of the total mass of the Solar System, the
Sun is by far the largest object in the Solar System.
- 109 Earths would be required to even fit across the Sun's disk, and
the Sun's interior could hold over 1.3 million Earths.
- Within the core of the Sun, the temperature (15,000,000 K) and
pressure (340 billion times Earth's air pressure at sea level) of it is so
intense that nuclear reactions actually take place.
- The Sun's energy output, produced by these nuclear fusion reactions,
is approximately 3.86e33 ergs/second or 386 billion billion megawatts.
- The process that takes this energy to the surface of the sun
following complex stages is called convection.
- This energy, released as heat as well as light, takes a million years
to reach the surface.
- The Sun also emits low density streams of particles, also known as
the solar wind. These winds blow through the solar system at
450 km/sec and consist mostly of electrons and protons.
- The Sun consists of the core, photosphere, chromosphere and corona,
each with differing temperatures and components.
- Existing for about 4 and a half billion years, it has burnt up about
half of the hydrogen in its core. This leaves the Sun's life expectancy
to 5 billion more years, at which time, the Sun's elements will "swell"
up, swallow Earth, and eventually die off into a small white dwarf.
Credits go to Professor Stephen Lawrence, Columbia University
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