Q:

How old is the sun?

A:

Quick Answer

The sun is approximately 4.6 billion years old. It was formed when part of an immense molecular cloud underwent a gravitational collapse. The sun is a ball of gas, consisting of 92.1 percent hydrogen and 7.8 percent helium.

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Full Answer

The sun is situated at the center of the solar system and makes up approximately 99.8 percent of the whole solar system's mass. The sun's mass is over 330,000 times that of the Earth. The sun's diameter is about 865,000 miles, over 100 times the diameter of the Earth. The core of the sun reaches a temperature of about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. The sun's mean distance from Earth is approximately 93 million miles.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How many degrees does the sun move each day?

    A:

    The sun appears to move in the sky just under one degree a day. It moves a full rotation, 360 degrees, in 365.2422 days. To the naked eye, it appears to move eastward over the course of a year with respect to its position in comparison to the stars.

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  • Q:

    What would happen to Earth if there is no sun?

    A:

    Without the sun, all life on Earth except for deep sea microbes would die. Earth would cool to minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit within one year, plants would be unable to photosynthesize and gravity would no longer keep the Earth in orbit.

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    Where can you find information about the sun?

    A:

    Information about the sun can be found on the cosmic information provider, Space.com. In addition to providing general information on galactic topics, the website gives a great deal of detail on the sun and its extensive history.

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  • Q:

    How did the Copernican theory explain retrograde motion?

    A:

    Copernicus’ heliocentric model shows how an observer on Earth orbiting the sun would see a planet with a longer orbital period appear to move backward and then forward again. Ptolemy’s model, with the Earth at the center, required complex additional mechanics to explain retrograde motion that never matched the observed motion.

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