Facts About the Sun for Kids
The sun is an amazing, and crucial, part of our universe. Here are some facts about the sun that every kid should know.
1. The sun is a star. The sun is not just any star; it is the star at the center of our solar system, around which all the other planets orbit.
2. It is huge. The sun is nearly 93 million miles away from Earth, but it still looks huge in the sky. Its diameter is about 109 times larger than Earth.
3. It is very hot. The surface of the sun is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit (5,500 degrees Celsius). That’s about six times hotter than the surface of a volcano.
4. It generates energy. The sun generates energy through a process called nuclear fusion. In this process, hydrogen atoms combine to form helium atoms, releasing a lot of heat and light in the process.
5. It has spots. The sun’s surface is covered in dark spots, which are actually cooler areas where magnetic fields are twisting and preventing heat from escaping.
6. It has a magnetic field. The sun has a strong magnetic field, which can cause large eruptions of gas and particles, called solar flares, to shoot out into space.
7. It affects Earth. The sun’s magnetic field and solar flares can affect Earth’s magnetic field, causing things like the Northern Lights and disrupting our communication and power systems.
8. It has a cycle. The sun goes through a cycle of activity, called the solar cycle, which lasts about 11 years. During this time, the number of sunspots and solar flares changes.
9. It will eventually die. The sun is about 4.6 billion years old and still has about another 5 billion years before it will run out of fuel and become a red giant, expanding to cover the orbits of the inner planets.