You probably know that the sun above is a star, but does it end there? Check out 7 more facts about the sun you might be missing.
1. This may seem unusual, judging by the fact that we all see this star and we know the color it shows us right?
Seriously, it is even referred to as a yellow dwarf sometimes by Astronomers. However, in actuality our sun is not yellow but white; it’s an average star that appears white in color.
Light travels in a spectrum of distinct colors (all colors actually). White is not a color but a combination of all colors or more correctly put, white is the source of all other colors. So when this light from our sun hits the earth, the earth’s atmosphere scatters the light from the sun. The blue wavelength of light is scattered in the atmosphere, giving our sky a blue color, but the sky is actually colorless except for clouds.
The yellow wavelength are longer light wavelengths and so are more visible from the earth’s surface giving the Sun a yellowish color from the surface.
The atmosphere is the reason why the stars far from us appear to be twinkling when we see them at night.
2. The sun rotates. Maybe not like an average planet out there, but it actually does rotate.
The sun is a ball of Gas and so is not expected to rotate like other solid planets. It rotates at different intervals on distinct latitudinal lines across it. It’s faster on the equator and slower at the poles.
3. The sun is approximately 4.6 billion years old. It will take up to about 5billion years old for it to exhaust its hydrogen supply and therefore begin its dying process.
Our sun as an average star will die in a slow way. It has an abundant supply of hydrogen to maintain nuclear fusion in its core which provides all the energy.
4. The sun is the primary source of energy to the earth. It influences the change in the earth’s climate, temperature, hydrogen circle, and oxygen production. Without the sun, life probably could never have emerged on earth.
The amount of energy that hits the earth from the sun is about 1.336 kw per square meter. The energy the sun gives out mostly is luminous, that is 3.8 × 1026 joules per second, and we only use 1 out of 10,000 energy provided by the sun.
The solar panels we have now on earth can only convert 16% of the energy it gets into electricity, imagine what 50% could do for us.
5. The sun is the closest star to earth. See them at night twinkling and beaming down on us, little dots of lights lost in the dark blue of the night sky.
In our mind we couldn’t have imagined just how far and far away these little lights were from us. We couldn’t fathom that most of the little stars we see in the night sky were by far larger, denser and hotter than our sun.
Our sun is one out of billions of others in our home galaxy, the Milky Way galaxy.
In the interstellar neighbourhood the closest star system to our own solar system is the Alpha centauri. The alpha centauri is 4.3 light years away from us, this means it will take light (which is the fastest thing we know) 4 years to travel that distance.
Alpha centauri is a triple star system with Two average stars Alpha centauri A and B and a smaller red dwarf Alpha centauri C. 1 light year is approximately 9 kilometers in earth’s standard of measurement.
N.B: It takes light approximately 8 minutes to travel from the sun to earth.
6. The sun is humongous. The earth is pretty small compare to the size of this star.
Its 1.3million km in diameter. If you could fit the earth into the sun, you can fit about 1,300,000 earths into the sun.
With that size, the sun can easily pass to be one of the biggest object you may know but just hold up a bit, the sun turns into a dot compared to some other stars ..
When you compare the sun to one of the largest star in the universe, the Canis Majoris, the sun turns into a tiny dot.
7. The sun isn’t stationary. If you thought it was, sorry. Moons revolve around planets, planets around stars, and stars around the center of a galaxy; the galaxies’ orbit, or in a dance of gravitational beats.
All matter in the universe goes on a jolly ride with the expansion of space time. Our universe is constantly in motion. Nothing is stagnant or stationary, there is always motion.
The sun is located in the Milky Way galaxy, in the Orion’s arm of the galaxy, which is one of the arms of the spiral galaxy. Like every spiral galaxy, all the arms swirl around the center of the galaxy. Stars with planets, clouds and dust.
So our sun alongside the entire solar system is in orbit around the Milky Way galaxy. The Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light years in diameter, the sun (solar system) is about 27,000 light years away from the galactic center. So it takes about ±250 million years for the sun to complete one resolution around the galactic center.
That’s all for now, but you can count on getting more facts here on this blog. Don’t forget to share whatever you think I might have missed.