Astronomy - The Sun

Essay by aznforceHigh School, 10th grade May 2010

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The sun is a star that is approximately 149 kilometers (93 million miles) away from Earth and is located at the centre of the solar system. The Sun is approximately 4.5 billion years old and has a diameter of around 1,400,000 km which is roughly about 109 and a half Earths. The sun's mass consists of elements including mostly of helium and hydrogen and less than three percent of other elements which include, neon, iron, oxygen, carbon and etc.

Despite the Sun having a yellow and orange appearance, it is in fact its temperature of 6,000 degrees (on its surface), and seen from our Earth's surface that makes us believe this fact. In actual, the sun is white and could be regarded by astronomers as one of the brightest stars in the galaxy in present time (eighty five percent brighter than most other stars in the galaxy), but was once thought as a relatively small and irrelevant star of the Universe.

Since the distance between the sun and the Earth is vast, it requires light to travel (from the sun to the Earth) at a fast rate in approximately eight minutes and 10 seconds. The energy produced by this sunlight is important to Earth as it sustains life by controlling the Earth's weather, climate and photosynthesis which is a major factor in plant life. The massive effect the sun has upon Earth has been distinguished since ancient times as a god or goddess by some cultures.

The sun changes its intensity in cooling and warming cycles over periods of time and from this, scientists were able to draw information to discover the sun spots phenomena which are believe to show to be large areas of cooler surfaces of the sun's hot surface( approximately 3800 Kelvin compared to the 11,500 Kevin...