Fast Facts on the Sun and Stars Size Rotation Energy Temperature and More

About the Sun and stars, fast facts including size, rotation, energy, temperature, and more.


The sun is 110 times larger than the earth. It would take over one million earths to fill the interior of the sun.

According to Rand McNally's Student Encyclopedia, "To get a rough picture of the size and distance of the sun in relation to the earth, think of the earth as the size of a pea. On this scale, the sun would be the size of a beach ball about 130' away."

The heat on the sun's surface is 10,000deg.F. Magnetic disturbances sometimes cause dark spots on the sun, and the surface then cools down to 4,500deg.F. The core of the sun is thought to be 27 million degrees F.

The burning of nuclear fuel is what causes the sun to shine. Inside the sun there is nuclear fusion, and during the process a small amount of matter is lost. The loss of this mass produces the sun's energy.

In producing its energy, the sun uses up about 22 quadrillion tons of hydrogen every year. Despite this, according to scientific predictions, the sun contains enough hydrogen to continue shining at its present strength for another 5 billion years.

The sun's light takes a mere 8 minutes to reach earth.

If the sun stopped shining--despite the remaining pinpricks of light from other stars--all human, animal, and plant life would freeze to death, the tropics would be as cold as the poles, and the 7 seas would turn to solid ice.

Since the sun is not solid, all parts of it do not rotate equally. The time of its rotation at its poles is 33 days, while at its equator rotation takes 25 days.

There are 100 billion stars in our galaxy. From the earth, only about 6,000 of these stars can be seen by the naked eye, and the sun is one of them.

The star nearest to earth is 4 light-years away or 25 trillion mi. distant.

Rigel, at the bottom of the star-group called Orion, is one of the brightest stars. It is 18,000 times brighter than the sun. The light from Rigel, speeding toward us at 186,272 mi. per second, takes 500 years to reach the earth. When you look skyward and spot Rigel tonight, the light you see from it started shining 20 years before Columbus set sail for the New World.

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