Sunset | Smith Point, New York

© Sophie W. Smith

Joined October 2012

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Artist's Description

The distance from the Sun to Earth changes throughout the year:
Because the Earth travels on an elliptical orbit around the Sun, the distance between the two bodies varies from 147 to 152 million kilometres. The distance between the Earth and the Sun is called an Astronomical Unit (AU).

The Sun is middle-aged:
At around 4.5 billion years old, the Sun has already burned off about half of its store of Hydrogen. It has enough left to continue to burn Hydrogen for approximately another 5 billion years. The Sun is currently a type of star known as a Yellow Dwarf

The Sun has a very strong magnetic field:
Solar flares occur when magnetic energy is released by the Sun during magnetic storms, which we see as sunspots. In sunspots, the magnetic lines are twisted and they spin, much like a tornado would on Earth.

The temperature inside the Sun can reach 15 million degrees Celsius:
At the Sun’s core, energy is generated by nuclear fusion, as Hydrogen converts to Helium. Because hot objects generally expand, the Sun would explode like a giant bomb if it weren’t for its enormous gravitational force.

The Sun generates solar wind:
This is a stream of charged particles, which travels through the Solar System at approximately 450 kilometres per second. Solar wind occurs where the magnetic field of the Sun extends into space instead of following its surface. Read more

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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