Sun is a ball of hot gases. By weight, it is 70 percent hydrogen;
28 percent helium; 1.5 percent carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen; and
0.5 percent other elements. The Sun's temperature is 10,000 degrees
Fahrenheit at the surface and 27,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit at the
center. The average distance from Earth to the sun is 93,000,000
miles. Light travels in 8 1/2 minutes from the sun to Earth. The
diameter of the sun is 870,000 mile: 109 times larger than Earth's.
Its volume is big enough to hold over 1 million Earths.
Sun gives us heat, light, food, and the air that we breathe. It
powers the atmosphere to give us the wind and rain. Even the coal
and oil that generate electricity for light and power come from
plants and animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago
and depended on the Sun for life. The sun heats the land, oceans,
and air. It evaporates water from lakes and oceans. When the water
vapor cools, it drops as rain or snow, giving us the moisture we
need for drinking water, and for plants and animals to grow. Green
plants use the sun's rays to turn carbon dioxide and water into
carbohydrates. At the same time, the plants release oxygen that
we use to breathe. The production of carbohydrates by green plants
is called photosynthesis. The carbohydrates that plants form are
used by them to grow, and we, in turn, use plants for our nourishment.
Without the Sun, Earth would be a dark, cold, and dead place.
The final burst
of light as the Moon's shadow slides over the sun's disk resembles
a diamond wedding ring.
spots along the edges of the nearly covered Sun are known as Bailey's
Beads. They are created by the last direct light from the Sun shining
through valleys in the Moon's mountains.
of a total
eclipse over 3 hours
flare at totality