Q:

How is the sun different from other stars?

A:

Quick Answer

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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Related Questions

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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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    Why do humans need light?

    A:

    Light is necessary for the survival of life on Earth, as almost all energy used by life is derived from the sun. Plants and algae use light energy in photosynthesis, which provides usable chemical energy for heterotrophic organisms. In addition, without light, the Earth would be completely cold and dark, as even the moon gets its glow from reflecting the sun.

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    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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    What would happen if the sun stopped shining?

    A:

    If the sun stopped shining, the surface temperature of the Earth would drop by a factor of two approximately every two months, according to Cornell University imprint website Ask an Astronomer. This means that the temperature would be too cold for humans within a few weeks.

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