Our Sun

A:

The sun produces energy through nuclear fusion. The sun is a large ball of hydrogen and helium undergoing constant nuclear fusion, in which atoms of hydrogen combine to form helium and release a large quantity of energy.

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  • What is the source of the sun's energy?

    Q: What is the source of the sun's energy?

    A: The sun's energy comes from thermonuclear fusion reactions. Because the sun's gravity is so strong, hydrogen atoms fuse together to form helium. When they do so, they release a tremendous amount of energy.
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  • Why is the sun so hot?

    Q: Why is the sun so hot?

    A: The sun is hot due to the nuclear fusion process taking place within it, which is called stellar nucleosynthesis. The enormous amount of energy released by this process, nearly 383 billion megawatts multiplied by one billion, produces the sun's incredible heat.
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  • What is the difference between direct and indirect sunlight?

    Q: What is the difference between direct and indirect sunlight?

    A: 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.
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  • Why does the sun appear to move across the sky?

    Q: Why does the sun appear to move across the sky?

    A: Relative to its planets, the sun is actually a stationary body, but it appears to move due to Earth's rotation. However, it is important to recognize that nothing is ever truly stationary.
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  • Why is the sun considered a star?

    Q: Why is the sun considered a star?

    A: The sun is considered a star because it has all the characteristics of one. In fact, the sun is unremarkable. There are countless stars with the same attributes as the sun throughout the universe.
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  • What is the sun made of?

    Q: What is the sun made of?

    A: In elemental terms, the sun is made up of 74 percent hydrogen, 24 percent helium and 1 percent oxygen. The last 1 percent comprises of everything else, which includes carbon, nitrogen, silicon, magnesium, neon, iron and sulfur.
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  • How much bigger is the Sun than the Earth?

    Q: How much bigger is the Sun than the Earth?

    A: In terms of radius, the Sun is about 109 times larger than Earth. The diameter of the Sun is approximately 864,948 miles while the diameter of Earth is only 7,926 miles. It is necessary to line up the Earth end-to-end 109 times to fit across the length of the Sun.
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  • What causes the Coriolis effect?

    Q: What causes the Coriolis effect?

    A: The Coriolis effect is caused by a combination of the inertia of moving air and the rotation of the Earth. Air tends to move from high pressure to low pressure in a straight line, but the rotation of the Earth means that, to an observer at one spot on its surface, the moving air appears to turn. This effect increases as the air moves faster.
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  • Why is totality during a solar eclipse not accomplished?

    Q: Why is totality during a solar eclipse not accomplished?

    A: According to CNN, a solar eclipse is only a total eclipse for those areas of the Earth directly beneath the moon's shadow. Since the moon is much smaller than the sun or the Earth, it may only completely block the sun's light over part of the Earth's surface. Anyone outside this full shadow may see a partial eclipse, but it will not achieve totality.
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  • What is the temperature of the sun?

    Q: What is the temperature of the sun?

    A: The surface temperature of the sun is about 5,800 kelvins. The temperature at the core of the sun is at least 15,000,000 kelvins. Most of the sun's constituent particles at the surface are gaseous atoms, as no liquid or solid can exist at such high temperatures.
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  • Why is the sun important to Earth?

    Q: Why is the sun important to Earth?

    A: The sun is important to Earth because it warms the seas, generates weather patterns, stirs the atmosphere and provides energy to growing plants. The plants are responsible for providing oxygen and food for life to exist on Earth, according to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
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  • What are the three layers of the sun's atmosphere?

    Q: What are the three layers of the sun's atmosphere?

    A: The three layers of the sun's atmosphere are the chromosphere, the transition layer and the corona. The corona is both the outer layer and the hottest layer of the atmosphere, as it can reach 2 million degrees Fahrenheit.
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  • What does the sun do?

    Q: What does the sun do?

    A: The sun holds the planets in their orbits, makes life possible on Earth and converts hydrogen into helium. The sun is a large ball of gas that is undergoing a thermonuclear reaction, which enables it to bathe the solar system in energy.
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  • What instrument is used to measure sunshine?

    Q: What instrument is used to measure sunshine?

    A: A solar radiometer is a device that accurately measures the sunlight's intensity, according to NASA. Simple mercury thermostats were used to measure sunlight many years ago, but these have been deemed untrustworthy.
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  • What is the ultimate source of energy for living things?

    Q: What is the ultimate source of energy for living things?

    A: The ultimate source of energy for living things is the Sun. Plants and other photosynthetic organisms take the energy from sunlight to make glucose. This energy passes to other organisms through the food chain.
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  • How does the sun produce energy?

    Q: How does the sun produce energy?

    A: The sun produces energy through nuclear fusion. The sun is a large ball of hydrogen and helium undergoing constant nuclear fusion, in which atoms of hydrogen combine to form helium and release a large quantity of energy.
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  • Q: What is the sun made out of?

    A: The sun is a gigantic ball of hot gases. It is comprised of approximately 72 percent hydrogen, 26 percent helium and minute amounts of other elements, such as carbon, oxygen, neon, iron, nitrogen, magnesium and silicon.
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  • Q: How long is a year on the sun?

    A: According to Dictionary.com, a year is defined as the length of time it takes a planet to make a complete revolution around the sun. Since the sun does not revolve around itself, a year on the sun would have to be defined in different terms.
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  • Q: Where is solar energy located?

    A: Solar energy comes directly from the sun. It is light and heat captured from the sun that can be used for heating, electricity, photovoltaic energy and artificial photosynthesis.
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  • Q: What causes solar winds?

    A: Solar winds are caused by variance in the magnetic field of the sun. Certain lines in the magnetic field allow particles to travel outward easily and to pick up speed as they move.
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  • Q: What is sunlight made of?

    A: Sunlight is made up of electromagnetic radiation in the form of infrared, ultraviolet and visible light. The small fraction of the solar radiation intercepted by the Earth is called insolation. Solar radiation takes about 8 minutes and 11 seconds to reach the Earth.
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