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The Sun: The Heart of Our Solar System

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The Sun, a G-type main-sequence star, is the heart of our Solar System, influencing the orbits of planets and providing essential energy for life on Earth. It is a massive sphere of plasma, undergoing nuclear fusion to convert hydrogen into helium, releasing energy as sunlight. The Sun's lifecycle, cultural significance, and the science of solar observation are key to understanding our cosmic neighborhood.

The Sun: The Heart of Our Solar System

The Sun, a G-type main-sequence star also known as a yellow dwarf, is the central hub of our Solar System. This colossal sphere of glowing plasma is powered by nuclear fusion at its core, where hydrogen atoms combine to form helium, releasing vast amounts of energy. The Sun's gravity dominates the Solar System, keeping planets, asteroids, comets, and other space debris in their respective orbits. It is the primary source of light and heat for Earth, making it an essential factor for sustaining life. The Sun's influence extends into the far reaches of the Solar System, shaping space weather and affecting the environments of planets and other celestial bodies within its gravitational reach.
Detailed close-up of solar surface with prominent plasma eruption, sunspots and dazzling flare on black space background.

Physical Characteristics of the Sun

The Sun's diameter is approximately 1,391,000 kilometers, about 109 times that of Earth, and it holds 99.86% of the Solar System's total mass. With a mass around 330,000 times that of our planet, the Sun is primarily made up of hydrogen (around 74%) and helium (about 24%), with the remaining 2% consisting of heavier elements like oxygen, carbon, neon, and iron. The surface temperature of the Sun's photosphere is roughly 5,500 Kelvin, while its core reaches up to 15 million Kelvin, where nuclear fusion produces the energy that eventually radiates into space as sunlight.

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00

The ______, also known as a yellow dwarf, is the central star of our Solar System.

Sun

01

At its core, the Sun fuses ______ atoms into ______, releasing immense energy.

hydrogen

helium

02

The Sun's ______ is the primary force that maintains the orbits of planets and other objects.

gravity

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