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Facts About The Sun (Solar System’s Central Star)

The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields. It has a diameter of about 1,392,684 km (865,374 mi), about 109 times that of Earth, and its mass (about 2×1030 kilograms (2×1027 tons), 330,000 times that of Earth) accounts for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System. Chemically, about three quarters of the Sun’s mass consists of hydrogen, while the rest is mostly helium. The remainder (1.69%, which nonetheless equals 5,628 times the mass of Earth) consists of heavier elements, including oxygen, carbon, neon and iron, among others.

Sun (the star of our solar system)

The sun (star of our solar system) is a huge ball of hot, glowing gases. At about 333,000 times the mass of Earth, the sun contains about 99.8 percent of all the mass in the solar system.
Heat and light from this average-size star travel a mean distance of 92.96 million miles (149.6 million kilometers) to reach Earth and support all life on our planet. nationalgeographic

Facts about the sun
The Sun

The Sun Stats

  • Distance From Earth: 92,955,891 kilometers
  • Length of Day: 609 hours, 7 minutes
  • Surface Temp: 10,000°F (5,538°C)
  • Gravity: 28 times Earth’s
The Sun Stats
The Sun Stats



Distance (000 km)

Radius (km)

Mass (kg)

Mercury 57,910 2439 3.30e23
Venus 108,200 6052 4.87e24
Earth 149,600 6378 5.98e24
Mars 227,940 3397 6.42e23
Jupiter 778,330 71492 1.90e27
Saturn 1,426,940 60268 5.69e26
Uranus 2,870,990 25559 8.69e25
Neptune 4,497,070 24764 1.02e26
Pluto 5,913,520 1160 1.31e22

Chemical Composition of the Sun

Just like most other stars, the sun is made up mostly of hydrogen, followed by helium. Nearly all the remaining matter consists of seven other elements — oxygen, carbon, neon, nitrogen, magnesium, iron and silicon. For every 1 million atoms of hydrogen in the sun, there are 98,000 of helium, 850 of oxygen, 360 of carbon, 120 of neon, 110 of nitrogen, 40 of magnesium, 35 of iron, and 35 of silicon. Still, hydrogen is the lightest of all elements, so it only accounts for roughly 72 percent of the sun’s mass, while helium makes up about 26 percent.

The Sun’s satellites

There are eight planets and a large number of smaller objects orbiting the Sun. (Exactly which bodies should be classified as planets and which as “smaller objects” has been the source of some controversy, but in the end it is really only a matter of definition. Pluto is no longer officially a planet but we’ll keep it here for history’s sake.)

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