Q:

How is the sun different from other stars?

A:

The main difference between the sun and any other star is the distance each are from Earth. The sun is closer to this planet than all of the other stars.

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Size is another major difference between the sun and other stars. The sun is the biggest star in this solar system. Within the whole universe, the sun is quite small compared to the enormous stars that exist beyond our solar system. The largest star that scientists have discovered is called Mu Cephei. Over one billion of Earth's suns could fit inside of Mu Cephei. This massive star is considered to be a giant in the universe.

Stars also differ in temperature. Temperature differences can be interpreted using color changes. Stars that burn red and orange are much cooler in temperature than the sun. Stars that burn white or blue-white are much hotter than the sun.

As well as mass and temperature, all of the stars also differ in age. The sun in this solar system is approximately five billion years old, making it a middle-aged star. As the stars grow older, they are subject to changes in mass, size and temperature. Sometimes, stars can even lose mass as they age.

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    Where does the sun rise and set?

    A:

    The sun actually does not rise or set; it is only perceived as rising or setting because of a person's vantage point on the surface of the Earth. This perception of the sun rising and setting is due to the rotation of the Earth itself.

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    How long does it takes Earth to complete one revolution around the sun?

    A:

    It takes the Earth approximately 365.25 days to complete one revolution around the sun. The extra quarter of a day that is gained each year is why a leap year is added to the calendar every four years. The day added in a leap year is February 29.

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    Why is the sun important to Earth?

    A:

    The sun is important to Earth because it warms the seas, generates weather patterns, stirs the atmosphere and provides energy to growing plants. The plants are responsible for providing oxygen and food for life to exist on Earth, according to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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    How many miles is the sun from Earth?

    A:

    On average, the sun is 92,960,000 miles from Earth. The Earth has an elliptical orbit, so this distance varies. At the closest point of its orbit, called perihelion, Earth is 91,000,000 miles from the sun. At aphelion, the furthest Earth gets from the sun, they are 91,402,500 miles apart.

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