Q:

How big is the sun?

A:

The sun's mass is estimated to be 1.989 times 10E30 kilograms, about the equivalent of 333,000 Earths, and has a diameter of about 864,938 miles. About 99.8 percent of the entire mass of the solar system is contained within the sun.

The sun is a relatively small star in the Milky Way Galaxy. It is classified as a yellow dwarf star, also called a G dwarf star, and it is one of about 10 billion similar stars in the galaxy. Red giant stars, such as Betelgeuse, are much more voluminous.

Astronomers think that in about 5 billion years, the sun will use up all its hydrogen and become a red giant itself. This transformation will destroy all the inner solar system planets, including the Earth.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What makes up the sun?

    A:

    The sun is almost entirely composed of hydrogen and helium. Hydrogen accounts for about 75 percent of the sun's mass, with the other 25 percent being almost entirely helium. Other elements, such as oxygen and carbon, do exist in the sun, but at such low concentrations as to be insignificant.

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  • Q:

    Approximately how far is the sun from the center of the galaxy?

    A:

    According to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the sun is roughly 26,000 light years from the center of the galaxy. Other sources, including Berkley University of California, estimate the distance to range between 25,000 light years to 30,000 light years.

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    What would happen if the sun died?

    A:

    The majority of life on Earth could not survive if the sun died, according to Popular Science. However, some micro-organisms could survive and thrive in a post-sun existence. With no sun, the Earth may fly off into space with nothing to keep it in orbit.

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  • Q:

    How does the heat from the Sun reach the Earth?

    A:

    Energy from the sun reaches Earth by way of radiation. Heat can be transferred in three ways: conduction, convection and radiation. Radiation is the only way to transfer heat through empty space.

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