Q:

How did the sun get its name?

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Quick Answer

The sun has had multiple names over the centuries, including the French word "soleil," the Latin term "sol" from the ancient Romans and "helios" from the ancient Greeks. However, after Germany coined the term "sonne," the word translated into English became "sonne" and later just "sun," according to NASA.

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Full Answer

As the name for the sun evolved over time, many cultures and countries adopted various versions of the title. The term "sol" was used in Spanish and Portuguese cultures, while Italy used a slight variation on the word, calling it "sole." The "sonne" name from Germany expanded to old Goth and old Norse cultures as well.

It wasn't until about 1610 that any traces of the sun were detected in the form of sunspots. Both Thomas Harriot and Galileo Galilei noticed these sunspots. However, the sunspots later vanished for some time. By around 1860, the sun had a coronal mass ejection, the first that was known in history.

The sun is classified as a G2V star. The "V" portion of this name is due to how brightly that the sun burns off hydrogen. Six different portions of the sun exist in total, including its visible surface, the radiative zone, its chromosphere, its convective zone, its corona (last layer) and its core (the innermost layer).

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