Top 10 Facts

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Top 10 Facts about The Sun

Want to know more about the largest object in The Solar System? Here are our Top 10 facts about The Sun....

Plus you can learn more about what’s in our Solar System with our Top 10 Facts on the Moon; the planets Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and the dwarf planet Pluto.

1. The Sun is over 4.5 billion years old

The Sun started as a cloud of dust and gas. It slowly formed a massive center and got hotter until it became the Sun.

The sun with a corona mass ejection

2. Many ancient civilisations thought The Sun was a God.

For example, Ancient Egyptians had a sun god called Ra while Aztec’s had a God named Huitzilopochtli. The Sun is necessary to grow food and for all life on Earth so it makes sense that people thought it was a God.

Learn more about Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses here and The Aztecs here.

3. The surface of The Sun is 5,505 °C

You might already know The Sun is hot – but did you know it is really really hot. 5505°C to be exact. Just to compare boiling water is 100°C and a bonfire is about 600°C.

4. Sometimes spots on The Sun erupt and mess with our mobile phone signals

Sometimes gases on the Sun’s surface erupt, shooting far out into space. These are called solar flares. They can interfere with satellites meaning our phones, satnav and television might not work.

5. The Sun’s light reaches the Earth in eight minutes.

This is known as the speed of light.

6. All the planets in The Solar System orbit The Sun

All the planets in our Solar System orbit The Sun. This means they go around The Sun. Earth takes 365 days to orbit the sun which is why 365 days is a year. Find out more about our Solar System here.

7. The Sun is made from Hydrogen and Helium

74% of The Sun is made from an element called Hydrogen. 24% of The Sun is helium, which is also what you fill balloons with to make them float.

8. Solar Eclipses, where the Sun disappears in the day, are caused when the Moon is between the Sun and Earth

Eclipses are caused by things happening in The Solar System. In the U.K there are between two and five solar eclipses each year with a total eclipse, where the Sun completely disappears from view, taking place every 18 months or so.

moon eclipse

9. Without The Sun there would be no life on Earth

There wouldn’t be any life on Earth without the Sun, it would be too cold for animals to live and plants need sunlight to create their food. The Sun also causes the seasons, currents in the oceans, weather and climates.

green ferns

10. The Sun is the largest object in our solar system. However, its size is average compared to other stars.

The Sun is the centre of The Solar System, with all the other planets orbiting around it. About 1 million Earths could fit in the Sun.

The Sun is a star, it just looks different because we are so close to it. When scientists compare it to other stars it is average in size.

Plus you can learn more about what’s in our Solar System with our Top 10 Facts on the Moon; the planets Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and the dwarf planet Pluto.

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Top 10 Facts

From the Tudors to rocks to fish, we have all the best facts right here!

More From Top 10 Facts