50 Interesting Facts About the Sun

  1. The sun consists of about 99.86% mass of the whole Solar System.
  2. Sun is at the higher end of the group of stars called yellow dwarf stars. These stars generally last for 10 billion years. (Source)
  3. The sun and planets of the solar system were formed from a molecular cloud. This cloud was the product of a massive concentration of interstellar gas and dust. (Source)
  4. All the planets and other celestial objects orbit the sun in the same direction and plane. The same orderly movement has also been seen in other solar systems. (Source)  
  5. The gravity on the surface of the sun is 28 times higher than the gravity on the surface of the earth. (Source)
  6. The age of the sun is around 4.6 billion years.
  7. The expected remaining life of the sun is around 5 billion years.
  8. The color of the sun is white due to a collection of seven colors of the spectrum. It looks yellow, red, or orange because the atmosphere of the earth scatters its colors of short wavelengths (blue, green, violet). Therefore, we can only see the sun's colors of high wavelengths (yellow, orange, and red). (Source)
  9. The sky looks blue due to the dispersal of blue light from the sun in the upper atmosphere of the earth. (Source)
  10. The light we see emits from the photosphere. It is the coolest layer of the sun’s atmosphere.
  11. The earth orbits the sun at a distance of around 93 million miles. The distance between the earth and the sun is known as AU (astronomical unit) and is used to measure other distances in the solar system. (Source)
  12. Sun is mainly composed of Hydrogen (75%) and Helium (24%).
  13. Sun produces radiation thanks to the process of nuclear fusion in its core. It is almost impossible to build similar nuclear reactors on earth due to a lack of gravity. (Source)
  14. Sun is the perfect natural sphere ever observed in the universe. (Source
    Image of sun
    Sun is the most perfect natural sphere

  15. The sun (and the whole solar system) revolves around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy
  16. The sun is 27,000 light-years from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. It orbits the center of the galaxy at an angle of 60 degrees with a speed of 137 miles (220 km) per second. (Source)
  17. The sun takes 226 million years to complete its orbit around the center of the Milky Way.
  18. The idea that the earth orbits around the sun was initially presented by Nicholas Copernicus, a Polish priest, in the 16th Century. (Source)
  19. In 1992, the Catholic Church recognized that the earth revolves around the sun. (Source) 
  20. There are three main layers of the sun’s atmosphere: the photosphere, chromosphere, and corona. (Source)
  21. The solar corona is the outermost layer of the sun visible during a solar eclipse. It causes a stream of charged particles up to 900 km/h at a temperature of 1 million degrees Celsius, known as the solar wind. The solar wind separates the tails of comets from their bodies. (Source)
  22. Corona is the outer atmosphere of the sun, which spreads millions of kilometers around the sun. Its temperature is several times higher than the temperature at the surface of the sun. Corona is easily visible as a white crown around the sun during a complete solar eclipse.
  23. The sun consumes 5 million tons (5 billion kg) of nuclear hydrogen fuel every second. The sun has been consuming the same amount of hydrogen for the past 5 billion years and will continue the same process for at least another 4 billion years.
  24. 1.3 million earth-sized planets can fit inside the sun. (Source)
  25. According to NASA, an explosion of 100 billion tons of dynamite every second is required to match the energy produced by the sun. (Source)
  26. In 2006, scientists produced extremely high temperatures in a lab that was even higher than the temperature at the core of the sun. (Source)
  27. The sun is a ball of heated gases without any solid surface. (Source)
  28. Distance between the earth and the sun changes at different times of the year. The earth is closest to the sun in January, while both are farthest to each other in July every year. (Source)
  29. The solar energy that reaches the earth in an hour is more than the total energy consumed by the whole world in a year. (Source
    Solar thermal collector dish
    Solar energy is immense and inexpensive

  30. Solar energy usually proves costly. But a recent survey shows that it is the cheapest energy source in almost 60 low-income countries. (Source)
  31. The temperature at the surface of the sun is around 5,500 Celsius, while the temperature at its core is 15 million Celsius.
  32. Lightning is five times hotter than the surface of the sun. (Source)
  33. Areas on the sun with strong magnetic activity appear dark due to low temperatures. These are known as sunspots. A solar flare is an explosion caused by magnetic fields near sunspots. They release a lot of radiation into space and can interfere with radio communications on earth. Solar flares and CME (coronal mass ejection) are the most powerful explosions in the solar system. (Source)
  34. The period between 1645 and 1715 is known as the maunder minimum due to considerably low sunspot activity. It resulted in a chilly climate in Northern Hemisphere. (Source)
  35. The concept of sun worship was present in several ancient civilizations and religions. These include Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, Roman religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Native Americans, and others. (Source) 
  36. The sun emits three types of UV (ultraviolet) rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC. Only UVA and a small amount of UVB reach the earth. The ozone layer completely blocks the most damaging UVC rays.
  37. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are beneficial and harmful to human skin. UV rays on the skin produce a large amount of Vitamin D (necessary for bones and teeth). However, excessive exposure to these rays can also cause premature skin aging and skin cancer (melanoma).
  38. UVB and UVC rays have excellent antibiotic properties. (Source)
  39. UV rays from the sun can also damage the eyes by producing cataracts, macular degeneration, and corneal damage. (Source
  40. Mercury takes just around 88 days to complete an orbit around the sun, while Neptune takes about 165 years to complete its orbit. 
  41. Sun emits different types of electromagnetic radiation. 99% of the sun’s total electromagnetic radiations are in the form of visible light, UV rays, and infrared rays. (Source)
  42. Looking at the sun directly for around 100 seconds can permanently damage the retina of the eye. (Source)
  43. The strong magnetic activity on the surface of the sun changes its movement and appearance, called the Solar Cycle. One cycle completes in an average of 11 years. It emits different levels of solar radiation that affect space, the atmosphere, and the surface of the earth. 
    Sunspots and solar flares
    Magnetic activity on sun affects earth and its atmosphere

  44. The sun is becoming 10% more luminous every billion years. This consistent increase in brightness will evaporate oceans on earth after a billion years. (Source)
  45. According to an estimate, the sun will consume the earth after a few billion years. (Source 
  46. Sun’s equator rotates more quickly as compared to its polar regions. Its rotation completes after 24 days at the equator and 35 days at the poles. (Source)
  47. Several spacecraft are observing various aspects of the sun. There are a few missions planned for observation of the sun in the future as well.
  48. A photon released from the sun’s core takes thousands of years to reach the surface of the sun. (Source)
  49. Sun is ringless. It does not have any rings. (Source)
  50. The green flash is an optical phenomenon that appears just after sunrise or before sunset. At that time, the upper rim of the sun looks green in color. It happens because water vapors absorb the sun’s orange and yellow color, and air molecules scatter the violet light. Then the green flash (blue-green light) appears before the red light. (Source)

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