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The Sun - planets



The Sun
sun - The Sun Animals/Nature Newest pictures
The Sun is about halfway through its 10 billion year life cycle. The Earth is about 4.5 billion years old.
The Sun is massive. Its diameter is 109 time bigger than the Earth's. 1,392,000km. Its mass is 745 times greater than all of the planets in the solar system put together.
1,303,600 Earth's could easily fit inside of the Sun.
Like the Earth and the planets, asteroids and comets in the solar system all revolve around our parent star, the Sun, so too does the Sun orbit the Galactic Core. Travelling at a speed of 220km per second. This takes around 225,000,000 years, or a "Cosmic Year".
The surface temperature of the Sun is about 5500 degrees C. But at the core, the temperature could be as high as 15,000,000 degrees C!!
The Sun is around 25,000 light years from the centre of the Galaxy.
The Sun's mute layers are 73% hydrogen, 25% helium and 2% other elements. In the core, where more than 600 million tonnes of hydrogen are converted into helium every second, the amount of hydrogen is only about 34%, while the amount of helium is about 64%.
Not all of the elements in the periodic talke have been found in the Sun as yet, but its one than likely they will be.
The Sun began by condensing out of interstellar material. At first it wasn't hot enough to shine. As it shrank, due to gravity, it heated up. When the core temperature had risen to 10 million degrees, nuclear reactions were triggered off. Hydrogen was converted into helium and the Sun began its long period of steady emission of energy. The Sun hasn't always shone as bright as it does now. If any life had appeared on Venus, this would've had disastrous consequences for it.
Prominences (like in the above image, top right) are violenly eruptive. They can soar as high as 10,000km and there are about 250,000 at any one time. They occur more often than not over sunspot groups.
Solar flares, violent explosions above sunspot groups can send bursts of high-energy particles and radiation out into space. When the solar wind carries these particles into the Earth's magnetic field, they collide with molecules of air in the upper atmosphere and create the amazing displays that we know as the Northern Lights or, Aurora Borealis (Aurora Australis in southern hemisphere).
Sunspots are about 1500 degrees C cooler than the rest of the Sun's photosphere. They look dark because the surroundig area is so bright. They're less than 1000km across and usually appear in groups. They occur in areas of violent magnetic activity or active regions.
The number of sunspots rises and falls over an 11-year cycle. They first appear near the poles and gradually increase in number, appearing closer and bloss to the equator until the cycle reaches its peak.
During 1645-1715 the sunspot cycle seemed to have stopped. Northern Europe went through a period now known as the Little Ice Age.
The Sun isn't solid like the Earth. Bits of it rotate at different times. The equator rotates every 25 days and at the poles it rotates every 35 days. Inside, the Sun rotates every 27 days.


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