The Sun

An image of the Sun in 2018 when it had no sunspots.

The Sun is the star in our solar system. It is known as a G class star, a yellow dwarf star. It’s surface temperature is about 5,500 degrees Celsius, and at that temperature, a star will look yellow.

In this picture from 2018, the Sun has no sunspots which is very unusual. It is a huge swirling, glowing ball of hydrogen and helium gases. It usually has lots of flares and loops of material flying off the surface. More like the image below.

Portion of the Sun with a coronal loop and the earth's size shown for comparison.
Image credit: ESA & NASA
Sun factfile 
Position in solar systemCentre
Diameter 1,391,000 km
Distance from Earth150,000,000 km
One rotation 25 days (at equator)
One galactic orbit 230,000,000 years
Number of planets8
Core temperature15,000,000 °C
Gravity274 m/s2
StructureHydrogen, helium
FUN FACT: The Sun formed from a cloud of dust and gas about 4.5 billion years ago.

Activity

One of the most exciting things to see is an eclipse of the Sun. They’re really rare, and can be amazing.

An eclipse of the Sun photographed by the Solar Dynamic Observatory on 6th March 2019.
Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/ Solar Dynamics Observatory

Imagine you are the presenter of a TV show that is going to produce a news piece about an eclipse of the Sun in your area. Research what causes eclipses, including the difference between a lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse. Write a script (and include information about what you will show on screen as well) for this TV news story, which should last about 2 minutes.

The Ask NASA video clip above will give you some ideas about how you could make your TV clip easier for people to understand maybe using models to show what’s happening.

SAFETY: NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN! IT CAN DAMAGE YOUR EYES AND MAKE YOU BLIND!

You could even make a video of your TV story about the eclipse of the Sun.


You can go to the previous secret pages by clicking the planets below.

The MoonVenusMercury
Moon landing sites for Apollo missions