The centre of the Sun is almost 50 million degrees Celsius. It does not feel so hot to us, since the Sun is almost 150 million kilometres away.

First broadcast:
9 October 2000

Students could learn about the heat of the sun by creating their own solar ovens, using pizza boxes, black paper and aluminium foil. Students could carefully cut a flap in the top of the pizza box and cover the inside face of the flap with aluminium foil. The hole created by the flap could then be covered with 2 layers of plastic wrap or a cut-open freezer bag. The inside of the box should then be covered with black paper to absorb the heat and it could be further insulated by putting newspaper around the edges. On a sunny day the solar oven could then be placed in a sunny area and the flap positioned to reflect the sunlight into the box. The flap could be held open with a ruler. Students can then measure the increased temperature from the Sun and melt chocolate or make toast.

Alternatively, students could explore the distance from the Sun to Earth. It is presented in this clip that the sun is almost 150 million kilometres from Earth. Students could compare this distance with distances on Earth. If the distance around the Earth once is 12,742km, how many times around the Earth would equal the distance to the Sun? If the Earth is 384,400km from the Moon, how much further is the Sun? If the Empire State Building is 381m tall, how many would we need to stack on top of one another to reach the Sun?