Ask your parent or guardian, what's the nearest
star to the Earth?
Bet they'll think long and hard and come up with
some really complicated answer.
I reckon they will get it wrong! Why don't you
ask them now?
If they said the Sun then you have clever parents.
If they didn't then you will have to put them right.
The Sun, that thing in the sky that gives off loads
of light and keeps us warm is actually just a normal star, like
all the stars you see in the night sky.
The only thing different about it is that it is
really close to us. If your parents drive cars properly then they
will never go any faster than 70mph.
Just imagine that they drive at 100mph. If they
did and if there was a road long enough, it would still take 146
years to get to the Sun!
What do we know about the Sun?
Well the first thing we know is that it is very
Children wearing special glasses to protect
their eyes against the sun
Not only does some of the light that reach us cause
sun burn, but if you look at the Sun there is a good chance it will
damage your eyes.
Never look directly at
the sun, with or without telescopes. It is very dangerous.
Even looking at the Sun with your eyes alone can
and has caused damage to people's eyes.
That said, the Sun is a fascinating object.
It's just like all the stars in the sky, but is
about average as far as size and brightness goes.
Heat and light
Like all stars, the Sun is just a big ball of
gas giving off heat and light.
Deep inside the Sun, small balls called atoms are
smashing into each other and producing the heat and light we feel
here on Earth.
It takes this heat and light about 1 million years
to get out from the Sun then only about eight minutes to reach us
here on Earth.
The temperature on the surface of the Sun is about
15,000 degrees and it reaches millions of degrees in the middle.
On very rare occasions, the moon will pass in between
the Earth and Sun and will block it from our view. We
call this a solar eclipse.
Not quite so rare is the Lunar eclipse when the
Earth passes in between the Sun and Moon.
We see this as the Moon passing into the Earth's
shadow and turning dark.
Got a question about the Sun?
Ask our astronomy expert,