The sun is at the center of our solar system, where it provides enough heat and light to make life on Earth possible. It was formed about 4.6 billion years ago, yet it is one of the youngest in our galaxy. Scientists believe that everything started with a huge cloud of gases and dust that formed a ball. Dense gases located at the center began to generate massive amounts of energy through the process of nuclear fusion and thus began the tumultuous life of the young Sun.
In the core, the huge gravitational pressure causes the temperature to reach more than 15 million degrees. The plasma moves towards the surface of the Sun and radiates heat from the outer shell, called the photosphere where the temperature is about 5,500 degrees.
But did you know that …
- About 72% of the gases in the Sun comprise hydrogen. Of the remaining gases, most of the helium is taken together with oxygen, carbon, neon, magnesium, iron, and silicon. Scientists have so far recorded a total of 67 elements in the composition of the Sun.
- Near the atmosphere, the energy from the core of the Sun travels to the photosphere, from which it is emitted as sunlight.
The reddish luster of the next layer (chromosphere) can be seen only during the full eclipse of the Sun. The crown is the third layer of the Sun that looks like a blinding white light from an ionized gas thrown to space.
- It takes only 8 minutes to reach the Earth, which is 149,597,871 kilometers in length. Because the Earth’s orbit around the Sun has an oval shape, the difference in the distance from the Sun varies from 146 million to 152 kilometers during the year.
- It took billions of years for the evolution of the Sun, but scientists say it will live even more. Astronomers believe that as our Sun begins to shake off hydrogen, it will begin slowly spreading, becoming a red giant who may have devoured the Earth.
Take a look at this interesting video from NASA, which looks great on a huge solar explosion that happened in August 2012