The Sun And Its Importance To Planet Earth

(Photo credit: doogin)
(Photo credit:  doogin)
(Photo credit: doogin)

There are billions of stars in the sky, with the sun being the closest to Earth among them. It lies at the center of the solar system. For every 27 days, the sun rotates once. It was formed about four and a half billion years ago. It is determined that the sun is at middle of its life, meaning that it shall shine for about 5 billion more years.

The sun’s surface is known as the photosphere. Its temperature is about 5,778 K. The sun’s core is, however, much hotter, with its temperature being about 15.7 million K. All this energy is produced via nuclear fusion. This is a nuclear reaction where two hydrogen nuclei fuse to form one helium nucleus, accompanied by release of energy.

The distance from the Earth to the sun is 149.6 million kilometers. The diameter of the sun is 1.392 million kilometers. It has an equatorial circumference of 4.379 million kilometers. These measurements represent 109 times the corresponding measurements of the earth. The sun has a surface area of 6.0877 trillion kilometer squared, about 11,990 times that of the earth. It has a volume 1.3 million times that of earth.[I:]

The energy from the sun is called solar energy. It is received by the earth through radiation. Since only a fraction of the radiated energy can be absorbed by our planet, a lot of it is reflected back to space. Life on earth depends on the absorbed energy. It is also responsible for our weather, tides and the water cycle.

Plants make their own food through photosynthesis, a process that is dependent on solar energy. Take note that all living organisms get their food directly or indirectly from plants. In addition, the sun is the cause of energy available in fossils. Examples of such energy sources are petroleum and coal.

The sun is earth’s basic source of energy. This energy reaches us in two main forms, light and heat. Solar energy is also applied in promoting plant growth in green houses, solar lighting and powering electronic devices. There cannot be life on earth without the sun.

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