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.Know More
Helium was first detected in the sun, which is why the element was called "helium," after Helios, the sun god in Greek mythology. Helium is present as a by-product of the sun's nuclear processes. The hydrogen that makes up the bulk of the sun's composition is very hot and exists in an excited phase of matter known as plasma.
Under less energetic conditions, hydrogen atoms encounter and repel each other in a weak fashion. In the crushing pressure and blazing heat of the sun's core, however, the hydrogen atoms aren't able to bump off each other, so they strike and stick together with sufficient force to form a new, heavier atom. This process, known as fusion, releases the energy that eventually pours out of the sun and has gradually been converting the giant star's hydrogen into helium for the last several billion years.
Despite the fact that a quarter of its mass has already been converted into helium, the sun still has enough fuel to burn for a long time. The existing store of hydrogen is sufficient to keep sun burning for at least another 5 billion years.Learn more about Our Sun
Direct sunlight reaches the Earth's surface when there is no cloud cover between the sun and the Earth, while cloud cover causes indirect sunlight to reach the surface. In gardening, sunlight falling directly on the plant is direct sunlight, while indirect sunlight refers to shaded areas.Full Answer >
The radiative zone is the part of the sun?s interior that is between the inner core and the outer convective zone. In this zone, energy is efficiently transferred by photons to the surrounding region. The electromagnetic radiation of the radiative zone is the result of the energy of nuclear fusion at the core.Full Answer >
Columbia University explains that energy from the sun travels to other planets through electromagnetic waves in a process called radiation. This way, energy can be transferred through empty space without relying on matter.Full Answer >
The sun is approximately 4.6 billion years old. It was formed when part of an immense molecular cloud underwent a gravitational collapse. The sun is a ball of gas, consisting of 92.1 percent hydrogen and 7.8 percent helium.Full Answer >