Fun Facts About the Sun

The sun The sun. Without it, there could be no life on earth, so we wanted to pay tribute to the sunshine with the ultimate honor: a fun facts blog post.

Does my sun look big in this?

The sun is about 1,392,000 kilometers (865,000 miles) wide – about 110 times wider than the earth. One day, the sun will shrink so it’s the same size as our planet, but don’t worry: it won’t happen for billions of years.

Hot stuff

The temperature in the sun’s core (the very middle part) can reach up to 15 million degrees Celsius. That’s hot enough to heat your microwave popcorn in about 0.001 seconds. But I wouldn’t try it.

A shining light

The sun is key to having a healthy body. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, and we get most of it from direct sunlight on our skin. It is even thought that people with red and orange hair are better at converting sunlight into vitamin D, because historically they have less exposure to the sun.

Emma Stone in Easy A
Emma Stone gives a thumbs up to her vitamin D-producing 'ginger genes'.

Lord of the skies

We know all about the sun now because of science and technology, but thousands of years ago it might have seemed very mysterious. Many cultures saw the sun as a god or deity.

  • Tonatiuh: Aztec
  • Ra: the Ancient Egypt
  • Helios: Ancient Greece

Mid-life crisis

Scientists believe the sun to be about 4.6 billion years old. That might sound like a lot of years, but the sun is actually only middle aged. It still has at least another 5 billion years left before it dies.

Time travel

It takes about 8 minutes for sunlight to reach the earth. That means when you see the sun in the sky, you are actually looking 8 minutes into the past.

Do you know any more fun facts about the sun? Please share them in the comments below, and if you’re lucky and the sun is shining where you are, get outside now and enjoy it!

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