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Solar Facts -Interesting Information about the Sun

By Edited Apr 14, 2014 0 0

Many people believe that because the sun is estimated to last another 5 billion years that life on Earth will last just as long including humans. Not true, if another source isn’t fated to wipe us out then in 1 billion years from now the sun will burn 10% brighter and dry up the water in our atmosphere effectively killing us.

 It’s ironic that, being our provider of life,   eventually take it away should humans survive for another billion years.

 Interesting Facts

  •  The sun is so close (relatively speaking) that it is one of the few(thousands) of stars that we can see with the naked eye from earth
  • Every second of burning  5 million tons of material is lost
  • The core is so hot that a pin head that hot on Earth would kill every human in a 90 mile radius.
  • The Sun's gravitational pull is so strong that Pluto is within its orbit even though it is nearly 6 billion Kilometres away
  • A postage sized area of the sun’s surface shines with the power of 1,500,000 candles.

  Science Facts

  •  It outputs over 300 billion billion megawatts
  • An object weighing 100 kg on Earth would weight 2800 kg on its surface.
  • The magnetic poles switch every eleven years, a cycle called Solarmax
  • 4 trillion trillion light bulbs equal the luminosity of the sun.
  • In about 1 billion years the Earth’s atmosphere will dry out as the sun become 10% brighter
  • In about 3 billions years the lakes, rivers and oceans of Earth will evaporate and life will become extinct as the sun burns 40% brighter than it does now.

 Common Misconceptions

 The sun causes seasons and makes the earth warmer in summer

One misconception many people might have is that the earth is warmer in the summertime because it is closer to the heat in summer. This isn’t fact, just that parts of the Earth has its surface closer for longer periods of time. Summertime in the southern hemisphere for example is warmer because it is closer; therefore the seasons are the result of being closer to the sun in summer.

This means for the northern hemisphere the opposite is true.

This misconceptions leads to another misconception that the sun causes the seasons. It's  a major player in the seasons but their true cause is the Earth rotating on a tilted axis as it orbits the sun, exposing one part of it for longer periods than the other as each season progresses.

 The sun doesn’t rotate

One interesting fact is that it rotates, something people might not know. Whereas the Earth rotates once every 24 hours, the sun rotates once every 25 days approximately.

 The sun, being a burning ball of hydrogen and other gases should ignite all at once

 There is no oxygen in space.

 Commonly fire burns using oxygen as a reaction to heat and fuel.

This process is very different on our closest star where there is little to no oxygen, the heat forces the hydrogen atoms to fuse into helium with a massive release of energy in a process called nuclear fusion. The slowness of this reaction and the size of the sun is enough to allow it to continue burning for 5 billion more years.



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