What is the Sun?
The sun is a medium-sized star, just like countless other in the entire universe. It is formed of gas left behind when a much larger star destroyed and blew up, and now in its middle age, it burns fair steadily giving us the energy required to live. The energetic Sun gives Earth its daylight having a constant temperature, which is the basis of our food chain.
Besides heat and light, the sun also emits deadly rays such as infrared rays, ultraviolet rays, and X-rays which is really very harmful to all the living organisms, but fortunately, our earth is shielded with a dense atmosphere and OZONE layer, which absorbs most of the ultraviolet rays coming from the sun. In this article, we will read some of the most interesting facts and stats about the sun
How big is the sun?
Our sun is a small-to-medium sized star which is 1392000 km in diameter and weighs just under 2000 trillion trillion tonnes.
What makes the sun burn?
The sun gets its energy and heat from nuclear fusion. There is a Huge pressure deep inside the sun which forces the nuclei of hydrogen atoms to fuse together which results in the formation of helium atoms, which in turn release huge amounts of nuclear energy which makes the sun burn.
What is the sun's crown ?
The sun’s crown is its corona, its a glowing white hot atmosphere seen only as a halo when the rest of the Sun’s discs gets covered by the moon during Solar Eclipse.
How hot is the sun?
The surface of the sun is a phenomenal 5500 degree Celsius, and would melt absolutely anything. But its core is thousands of times hotter at over 15 million degree Celsius.
How far is the nearest star?
Although Sun is also a star, but apart from that the nearest star to Earth is Proxima Centauri, which is 4.3 lights years away or 40 trillion km away from Earth.
How far away is the sun ?
In 1672, two astronomers, Cassini in France and Richer in Guiana, noted the exact position of Mars in the skies. They could work out how far away Mars is from the slight difference between their two measurements. Once they knew this, they could work out by simple geometry the distance from earth to the sun to be approx 150 million km. Cassini’s estimates were only a few percents out.
Modern astronomers can measure the distance very accurately by bouncing radar waves off the planets.
What is the fact behind solar wind?
The fact behind solar wind is that it is a stream of radioactive particles which constantly blows out from the sun at hundreds of kilometers per second. The earth is protected from the solar wind by its magnetic field, but at the poles, the solar wind interacts with Earth’s atmosphere to create the Aurora Borealis or the famous Northern Lights.
What are Solar Flares?
Flares are eruptions from the sun’s surface that fountain into space with the energy of one million atom bombs for about five minutes. They are similar to solar prominences, the giant flame-like tongues of hot hydrogen that loop 32000 km into space.
How long will the Sun keep burning?
Our sun is a middle-aged star which was formed about 4.6 billion years ago. The sun has enough hydrogen which will make the sun to burn for another 5 billion years, and when all the hydrogen will get consumed the sun will die in a blaze so bright that the earth will be scorched right out of existence.
How much time sun-rays take to reach the earth?
Let's calculate it! The mean distance of the sun from Earth is 150 million kilometers, and light travels with a speed of 300000 km per second, and formula of speed is equal to "distance/time", so by dividing the first value from the second one we got the answer which is 500 seconds or 8 minutes and 20 seconds.
Hence Sun-rays take approx 8 minutes and 20 seconds to reach Earth's surface.
What is solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves in between the sun and the earth, creating a shadow a few hundred kilometres wide on the earth.
What is Lunar eclipse?
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth moves in between the Sun and the Moon, creating a reddish colored shadow on the moon (also called blood moon) due to refraction of sun-rays from earth to the moon, same like the refraction which took place during sunset and sunrise.
Amazing Ancient Fact !
You will be amazed to know that Ancient Indian Astronomers has calculated the distance between the sun and earth in the 15 century only which is 2 centuries before our modern scientists did.
It is mentioned in the two lines of “HINDU PRAYER HANUMAN CHALISA” where the distance between the Sun and the Earth is calculated with great simplicity.
“! जुग सहस्त्र योजन पर भानु, लील्यो ताहिमधुर फल जानू !”
The phrase means that the भानु which means the sun is जुग सहस्त्र योजन distance far away from the earth.
1 jug = 12000
1 Sahastra = 1000
1 Yojan = 8 miles
Which gives us the calculated result as
12000 * 1000 * 8 = 96,000,000 miles
1 mile = 1.6 km
Hence 96,000,000 * 1.6km = 153,600,000 Km. That gives us the approx. value of the exact distance to the sun.
Ancient India is really a very interesting topic to read about, India is a place of ancient marvels with so many great and precise theory and formulas. All Hindu scriptures such as Vedas, Upanishad, GITA, Mahabharat consists of great information which makes us wonder about the technologies India had at that time. But the sad fact is in spite of having such great scriptures very little is being taught to children in modern schools, and very few Indians opt to study it in high schools, whereas people from all over the world come to India just to read and gain knowledge from ancient Indian scriptures.
What are exactly Sunspots?
Sunspots are dark blotches seen on the Surface of the sun. They are thousands of kilometers across and are usually occur in pairs. They are dark because they are slightly less hot then the rest of the surface. As the sun rotates, they slowly cross its face -about 37 days at the equator and 26 days at the poles.
The average number of spots seems to reach a maximum every 11 years, and many scientists believe these sunspots maximums are linked to periods of stormier whether on Earth.
Where does our Energy come from?
All of our energy comes to us ultimately from the sun. Some we get directly via solar power cells, most comes indirectly via fossil fuels ( Coals and oils ), which got their energy from the fossilized plants of which they are made. The plants got their energy directly from the sun by a process called photosynthesis. And our sun is the basis of our food chain process where energy from the sun is used by plants which is later consumed by herbivores further which are consumed by carnivores.