Wednesday, November 28, 2012

All About the Sun

I have been trying to make myself get out to exercise these past few days, but I've just worked instead. I finished and mailed a couple of custom agate windows and, of course, worked on the online rockhounding adventures, which are coming along.  Thanks to everyone and their patience.  I had hoped to have had the project launched already, but it is taking longer than expected.  Even though I will be launching as a pilot program, it still has to meet my expectations in terms of its quality and ability to communicate information in an effective and entertaining manner.

I have a couple of slides left to finish the segment about the formation of the Universe. So for today's blog posting, I'll double dip and include information about our Sun. This is just a portion of the info that will be included in the online rockhounding adventure.

Facts about the Sun
-- The Sun makes up around 99.86% of the total mass that exists in our Solar System

-- The Sun is about 110 times wider than the Earth.

-- Only two elements make up 98 percent of the Sun's mass. The Sun is comprised of around 74% hydrogen and 24% helium. Heavier elements such as oxygen, carbon, iron and neon make up the remaining percentage.

-- It takes eight minutes for light emitted from the Sun to reach the Earth.

-- The Sun’s surface temperature is around 9941 degrees Fahrenheit (5500 degrees Celsius).

-- The distance of the Earth from the Sun is 92,960,000 miles (149,600,000 km).  Just for perspective, if you decided to go to the Sun and travelled at 1,000 miles per hour -- it would take you nearly 93,000 years to reach the sun.

-- Like most things in the Universe, the Sun rotates. Its rotation speed averages 4,468 miles per hour (7,189 km/hr). That is way faster than the Earth's rotation speed that at the equator is about 1,038 miles per hour (1,670 km/hr).

-- All of the parts of the Sun do not rotate at the same rate. There is differential rotation: at the equator the surface rotates once every 25.4 days; near the poles it's as much as 36 days. This odd behavior is due to the fact that the Sun is not a solid body like the Earth.

-- The Sun formed around 4.6 billion years ago and is not quite half way through its life cycle, which is expected to last another five billion years.

-- The Sun’s diameter is about 870,000 miles wide (1,400,129 km). 

-- The Sun is 333,000 times heavier than the Earth.

-- The Sun's power (about 386 billion billion megaWatts) is produced by nuclear fusion reactions. Each second about 700,000,000 tons of hydrogen are converted to about 695,000,000 tons of helium and 5,000,000 tons of energy in the form of gamma rays.

Pictures from today's posting are from NASA's webpage

Data is from several sources including

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