Q:

How big is the sun?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

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 is the chemical make-up of the sun?

    A:

    Hydrogen and helium combine to form more than 98 percent of the sun’s mass, and they represent over 99 percent of the atoms in the sun. Oxygen is the third most abundant element found in the sun, as it is responsible for almost 1 percent of the sun’s mass. The other constituent elements include carbon, nitrogen, silicone, magnesium, neon, iron and sulfur.

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  • Q:

    What is the term for the sun going down over the horizon?

    A:

    The term for the sun going down over the horizon is "sunset." This occurs to the west due the counter-clockwise rotation of the Earth. Depending on the tilt of the Earth's axis, the sunset happens earlier in the winter and later in the summer in the northern hemisphere.

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  • Q:

    What is some info about the sun?

    A:

    The sun is the star that makes life on Earth possible. Comprising over 99 percent of the mass of the solar system, the sun is a G2 main sequence star. This means the sun is cool compared to other types of stars and that it's still turning hydrogen into helium at its core.

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  • Q:

    How long would it take to drive to the sun going 60 mph?

    A:

    If it were possible to drive from the Earth to the sun, the amount of time required for the journey is slightly more than 1.55 million hours at a rate of 60 mph. That is approximately 64,597 days or about 177 years.

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