Q:

How big is the sun?

A:

Quick Answer

The sun's mass is estimated to be 1.989 times 10E30 kilograms, about the equivalent of 333,000 Earths, and has a diameter of about 864,938 miles. About 99.8 percent of the entire mass of the solar system is contained within the sun.

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Full Answer

The sun is a relatively small star in the Milky Way Galaxy. It is classified as a yellow dwarf star, also called a G dwarf star, and it is one of about 10 billion similar stars in the galaxy. Red giant stars, such as Betelgeuse, are much more voluminous.

Astronomers think that in about 5 billion years, the sun will use up all its hydrogen and become a red giant itself. This transformation will destroy all the inner solar system planets, including the Earth.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the chemical make-up of the sun?

    A:

    Hydrogen and helium combine to form more than 98 percent of the sun’s mass, and they represent over 99 percent of the atoms in the sun. Oxygen is the third most abundant element found in the sun, as it is responsible for almost 1 percent of the sun’s mass. The other constituent elements include carbon, nitrogen, silicone, magnesium, neon, iron and sulfur.

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  • Q:

    What is the diameter of the Sun?

    A:

    The diameter of the sun is approximately 864,938 miles, though there is a slight difference between its polar and equatorial diameters. As the sun is nearly in the shape of a perfect sphere, this diameter difference is only about 6.2 miles.

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  • Q:

    How many miles is the sun from Earth?

    A:

    On average, the sun is 92,960,000 miles from Earth. The Earth has an elliptical orbit, so this distance varies. At the closest point of its orbit, called perihelion, Earth is 91,000,000 miles from the sun. At aphelion, the furthest Earth gets from the sun, they are 91,402,500 miles apart.

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  • Q:

    What size is the sun?

    A:

    The sun has a radius of about 432,450 miles and a diameter of about 864,938 miles and is the largest object in the solar system. The sun's circumference measures approximately 2.7 million miles.

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