All About the Sun
A star is a hot, glowing ball of gas. When you look up in the night sky, you can see countless twinkling stars. Can you see any stars during the daytime? Of course! The light of daytime comes from our closest star: the Sun.
Just how close is the Sun to Earth? Way, way closer than other stars, but still pretty far away. It’s approximately 93 million miles away from Earth. That’s 400 times farther than the distance between Earth and the Moon!
However, it’s a good thing that Earth isn’t too close to the Sun. If we were too close, it would be way too hot to live here. The Sun’s surface is very hot, and its atmosphere is even hotter. And the Sun’s core is the hottest part of all, at a sizzling 27 million degrees Fahrenheit!
The Sun is also right in the middle of its lifecycle. Right now, our Sun is in a stage called yellow dwarf. It is about 4.5 billion years old. In another 5 billion years the Sun will become a big, cool star called a red giant. A few billion years after that, it will become a small white dwarf star. It will shrink to around the same size as Earth, but it will weigh 20,000 times more.
But even though our Sun is kind of an ordinary star, there are also a few things that make our Sun quite special. For example…
Heat and light might be important for life on Earth, but the Sun sends other stuff, too. The Sun sends lots of other energy and small particles toward Earth. Earth’s protective magnetic field and atmosphere shields us from most of the energy and particles. But sometimes a big stream of these particles reaches Earth and interacts with the gases at the outer edge of our atmosphere. This causes streams of light in the sky, called auroras.