Sun

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Introduction1

Sun in Depth (NASA)

Note: These are 360° Videos — press and hold to explore them!

Parker Solar Probe Mission (NASA Goddard)

Dictionary

Sun : (1) the luminous celestial body around which the earth and other planets revolve, from which they receive heat and light, which is composed mainly of hydrogen and helium, and which has a mean distance from earth of about 93,000,000 miles (150,000,000 kilometers), a linear diameter of 864,000 miles (1,390,000 kilometers), and a mass 332,000 times greater than earth (2) a celestial body like the Sun — Webster

OneLook, Free Dictionary, Wiktionary

Thesaurus

Roget’s II (Thesaurus.com), Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, Visuwords

Encyclopedia

The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is a nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma, with internal convective motion that generates a magnetic field via a dynamo process. It is by far the most important source of energy for life on Earth. Its diameter is about 109 times that of Earth, and its mass is about 330,000 times that of Earth, accounting for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System. About three quarters of the Sun’s mass consists of hydrogen (~73%); the rest is mostly helium (~25%), with much smaller quantities of heavier elements, including oxygen, carbon, neon, and iron.

The Sun is a G-type main-sequence star (G2V) based on its spectral class. As such, it is informally referred to as a yellow dwarf. It formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of matter within a region of a large molecular cloud. Most of this matter gathered in the center, whereas the rest flattened into an orbiting disk that became the Solar System. The central mass became so hot and dense that it eventually initiated nuclear fusion in its core. It is thought that almost all stars form by this process.

The Sun is roughly middle-aged; it has not changed dramatically for more than four billion years, and will remain fairly stable for more than another five billion years. After hydrogen fusion in its core has diminished to the point at which it is no longer in hydrostatic equilibrium, the core of the Sun will experience a marked increase in density and temperature while its outer layers expand to eventually become a red giant. It is calculated that the Sun will become sufficiently large to engulf the current orbits of Mercury and Venus, and render Earth uninhabitable. — Wikipedia

Encyclopædia Britannica

Portal

Our Sun & Solar System Internet Resources (Library of Congress)
Living With a Star Program (NASA)
Solar System Exploration, The Sun, Our Star (NASA.Gov)
Sun Portal (Wikipedia)

Search

WolframAlpha

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Innovation

Science

Heliophysics means “physics of the Sun” (the prefix “helio”, from Attic Greek hḗlios, means Sun), and appears to have been used only in that sense until quite recently. In the early times, heliophysics was concerned principally with the superficial layers of the star, and was synonymous with what is now more commonly called “solar physics”. Usage was extended explicitly in 1981 to its literal meaning, denoting the physics of the entire Sun: from center to corona, and has been used in that sense since. — Wikipedia

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NASA Heliophysics (NASA)
Science of Heliophysics (HELIO Heliophysics Integrated Observatory)
Solar Physics (Marshall Space Flight Center)
Solar Physics Glossary (NASA)

Space Weather Prediction Center (NOAA.gov)
Space Weather.com
Space Weather (Wolfram Alpha)
Solar Storms (Wikipedia)

Future

What will happen when our sun dies? (University of Manchester, Phys.org)
The sun will become a planetary nebula after it dies, astronomers predict (Brooks Hays, UPI)

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Preservation

History

Giovanni Cassini Biography (Space.com)
Giovanni Domenico Cassini (Wikipedia)
Sunspots – The Exploratorium’s Guide to Sunspots

Voyages to the Sun (Steven J. Dick, NASA’s Chief Historian)
Missions to Study the Sun (Planetary Society)

Quotation

Quotations Page

Library

WorldCat, Library of Congress, UPenn Online Books, Open Library

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Participation

Education

Crash Course Kids Space Science: The Sun and Its Influence on Earth (YouTube Channel)

Why does the sun burn us? (Space Place, NASA)
The Sun (Ask an Astronomer, Cornell University)
Sun (Cosmos4Kids)

Course

Crash Course Astronomy (YouTube)

OER Commons: Open Educational Resources

Community

News

Space Weather Live, News about the Sun (NASA), Science Daily, NPR Archives

Book

ISBNdb

Government

Space Weather Prediction Center (NOAA)

Document

USA.gov

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Expression

Fun

Arts

The top 10 suns in art (The Guardian)

Poem

OEDILF: The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form

Music

Song Lyrics

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More News …

Sun News -- ScienceDaily News about the Sun. Science articles on Sunspots and the Sun's Corona; evidence the Sun has a companion star; images from the far side of the Sun and more.

  • Planets of binary stars as possible homes for...
    on May 23, 2022 at 3:55 pm

    Nearly half of Sun-size stars are binary. According to new research, planetary systems around binary stars may be very different from those around single stars. This points to new targets in the search for extraterrestrial life forms.

  • Physicists explain how type of aurora on Mars is...
    on May 18, 2022 at 3:38 pm

    Researchers have learned how a type of aurora on Mars is formed. The physicists report discrete aurora form through the interaction of the solar wind and the crust at Mars' southern hemisphere.

  • Mars' emitted energy and seasonal energy imbalance
    on May 17, 2022 at 1:31 am

    Seasonal imbalance between the solar energy absorbed and released by the planet Mars could be a cause of the Red Planet's dust storms, according to new research. Understanding how the system works on Mars could help scientists predict how climate change could affect Earth.

  • Extraterrestrial stone brings first supernova...
    on May 16, 2022 at 12:17 pm

    The extraterrestrial Hypatia stone found in Egypt could be the first tangible evidence on Earth of a supernova type Ia explosion. These rare supernovas are some of the most energetic events in the universe. If the hypothesis is correct, Hypatia would be a 'forensic' clue of an epic cosmic story started sometime in the early formation of our solar system.

  • Explosion on a white dwarf observed
    on May 12, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    When stars like our Sun use up all their fuel, they shrink to form white dwarfs. Sometimes such dead stars flare back to life in a super hot explosion and produce a fireball of X-ray radiation. A research team has now been able to observe such an explosion of X-ray light for the very first time.


Solar Flare News -- ScienceDaily Latest research news on solar flares, the solar cycle, geomagnetic storms and more.

  • Physicists explain how type of aurora on Mars is...
    on May 18, 2022 at 3:38 pm

    Researchers have learned how a type of aurora on Mars is formed. The physicists report discrete aurora form through the interaction of the solar wind and the crust at Mars' southern hemisphere.

  • A roadmap for deepening understanding of a...
    on April 22, 2022 at 5:18 pm

    Scientists have detailed a roadmap for untangling a key aspect of magnetic recognition that could deepen insight into the workings of the cosmos.

  • Mercury has magnetic storms
    on March 31, 2022 at 2:16 pm

    An international team of scientists has proved that Mercury, our solar system's smallest planet, has geomagnetic storms similar to those on Earth. Their finding, a first, answers the question of whether other planets, including those outside our solar system, can have geomagnetic storms regardless of the size of their magnetosphere or whether they have an Earth-like ionosphere.

  • Scientists solve solar secret
    on March 24, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    The further we move away from a heat source, the cooler the air gets. Bizarrely, the same can't be said for the surface of the Sun, but scientists may have just explained a key part of why.

  • Nearby star could help explain why our Sun...
    on March 22, 2022 at 4:28 pm

    Astronomers identified a nearby star whose sunspot cycles appear to have stopped. Studying this star might help explain the unusual period from the mid 1600s to the early 1700s when our Sun paused its sunspot cycles.

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Adventures

Explore related posts on Cosma

  • Touch the Sun (12/6/2019) - Remember how Icarus wanted to touch the Sun, but met his demise instead? Well, scientists at NASA wanted to touch the Sun too, but unlike Icarus, they succeeded! Better yet, they are beginning to share what they learned by doing it! Before we get into all of that, let’s go back and start at the … Continue reading Touch the Sun
  • Get Lost in Space! (9/14/2018) - Way back in August, in anticipation of the start of a new school year, I set out to update the pages on this site related to space. Those pages tend to be popular among the teachers and students who use Cosma, and I happen to enjoy updating them, too. It sounded like a short, fun … Continue reading Get Lost in Space!
  • Space Art & Junk (1/30/2018) - In certain circles it is not uncommon to trip across the debate “Is graffiti art?” You can also find scads about it online if you are so inclined (Google). However, the debate doesn’t come up all that often in the context of conversations about satellites or space… until now. Earlier this month a company named … Continue reading Space Art & Junk
  • Umbraphiles (8/20/2017) - umbraphile : One who loves eclipses, often travelling to see them. — Wiktionary Yes, this is that obligatory post about “The Solar Eclipse” (NASA, Wikipedia). Of course, there had to be one — eclipses really are just too cool to ignore. You’ve already been bombarded with explanations of the science and history of eclipses, but … Continue reading Umbraphiles
  • Auroras (7/17/2017) - There was a lot of talk about the potential of seeing Aurora Borealis (a.k.a. the Northern Lights) much further south than usual on Sunday night, but sadly, that didn’t pan out as predicted. The Northern Lights were a letdown in New England (Dialynn Dwyer, Boston.com) For anyone who is bummed about not seeing them, has … Continue reading Auroras

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Related

Here are links to pages about closely related subjects.

Knowledge Realm

Physical

“Fundamentals”
Law (Constant) Relativity
Force Gravity, Electromagnetism (Light, Color)
Matter (Microscope) Molecule, Atom (Periodic Table), Particle

“Space”
Universe (Astronomical Instrument)
Galaxy Milky Way, Andromeda
Planetary System Star, Brown Dwarf, Planet, Moon

Our Neighborhood
Solar System Sun
Terrestrial Planet Mercury, Venus, Earth (Moon), Mars
Asteroid Belt Ceres, Vesta
Jovian Planet Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Trans-Neptunian Object
Kuiper Belt Pluto, Haumea, Makemake
Scattered Disc Eris, Sedna, Planet X
Oort Cloud Etc. Scholz’s Star
Small Body Comet, Centaur, Asteroid

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Notes

1.   The resources on this page are are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma.