Sun: The Factory Of Energy


Sun- We all have grown up hearing his story. As we grew up he was the hero in our science textbooks. We know that it is the center of every form of life on earth. Now the question is, What is Sun? What is he made up of? Why does Earth and her friends; Venus, Mars, Jupiter, etc to name a few, are revolving around him? What is the secrete behind emitting such an enormous amount of energy every second? Let’s look into an interesting side of the Sun! and try to figure out the answers to these questions.

What is Sun?

Sun is a star. He is nearly a perfect sphere of hot plasma. He has formed due to gravitational collapse approximately 4.6 billion years ago. He is massive, lives with a family of 9 planets along with respective satellites. His diameter is approximately 1.39 million kilometers. That means 109 Earth’s can happily reside in him! He weighs about 330,000 times that of Earth. He alone takes a lions share of about 99.86% of solar mass! Which implies that he posses very large gravity. Gravitation force that Sun exerts on any planet can be easily calculated using the law of gravitation.

What is he made up of?

Sun is made up of Hydrogen(~73%), helium(~25%) and some heavier elements like Oxygen, Carbon, Neon, Iron, etc.

Where does he live?

He lives approximately 27200 light years away from Milkyway galaxy core. He moves with a speed of approximately 220km/sec and takes about 225 to 250 million years to complete one revolution around the center of Milkyway. He also rotates about his center. One complete rotation is called one solar cycle, which is about 11 years. He is a burning plasma ball, hence he undergoes differential rotation. Which means that rotational speed varies according to latitude.

Why do we revolve around him?

Due to his large mass, The gravitational force by him is also very evident. This keeps planets and corresponding satellite intact. All planets take the elliptical path to walk around the sun. The time period of one revolution varies from one planet to another. The science behind their walk is well explained through Kepler’s laws of planetary motion.

How much he radiate?

An infinite number of nuclear fission continuously takes place inside the Sun. As a result, every second approximately 4.26 million metric tons of energy is radiated in all the direction. Major types of radiation emitted include UV rays, Microwave, Radio wave, Infrared, Visible, Heat radiation, X-ray, etc. Radiations travel 149.6 million km to reach Earth and take approximately 8 minutes 19 second.

Thus, we got a brief insight into the burning sphere! Wasn’t it interesting!

To learn more on such physics concept, you can follow the video link given below and also subscribe to BYJU’S YouTube Channel to watch interactive videos with 3D animations and in-air productions.