The Sun is the largest and most powerful object in our Solar System, providing us with light, heat, and energy. It is the source of all life on Earth, and its effects on us are far-reaching. From its composition and structure to its impact on our climate and environment, this list will explore some of the most interesting and important facts about the Sun. So without further ado, let’s get started!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Send us your favourite facts!
Is there something we've missed? Got a fact you're dying to tell us? Submit it below and we could use it on a future Top 10 Facts page!
Remember to always ask an adult before filling out forms online.