sun facts

Since some of us haven’t seen the yellow orb in the sky for several days and many of you have had too much of it, I thought it would be fun to give you 13 facts about the sun. I added some pictures … I hope you can suffer through them.

1. The surface of the Sun, called the photosphere, is at a temperature of about 5800 K. (But a swim with this guy will certainly cool things off.)

2. The Sun is personified in many mythologies: the Greeks called it Helios and the Romans called it Sol. (And I just call this heavenly.)

3. The Sun’s magnetic field is very strong (by terrestrial standards) and very complicated. Its magnetosphere extends well beyond Pluto. (But can it hold a candle to this guy?)

4. The Sun is by far the largest object in the solar system. It contains more than 99.8% of the total mass of the Solar System. (I don’t know, this guy seems to be taking up juuuust the right amount of space.)

5.  In addition to heat and light, the Sun also emits a low density stream of charged particles (mostly electrons and protons) known as the solar wind. (But he certainly looks like he could protect me from that big, bad wind.)

6. The solar wind has large effects on the tails of comets and even has measurable effects on the trajectories of spacecraft. (And this guy has a measurable effect on my heartrate.)

7. Sunspots are “cool” regions, only 3800 K. They look dark only by comparison with the surrounding regions. (And a little swim with this honey would certainly “cool” me off.)

8. The Sun is, at present, about 70% hydrogen and 28% helium by mass everything else “metals” amounts to less than 2%. This changes slowly over time as the Sun converts hydrogen to helium in its core. (Yeah, yeah, whatever, show me the man candy.)

9. A small region known as the chromosphere lies above the photosphere. (And the region above a man’s hips is known as “the lickable zone”.)

10. The highly rarefied region above the chromosphere, called the corona, extends millions of kilometers into space but is visible only during a total solar eclipse. (And man candy this fine is only visible in the summer.)

11. The solar wind and the much higher energy particles ejected by solar flares can have dramatic effects on the Earth ranging from power line surges to radio interference to the beautiful northern lights. (… to beautiful bodies.)

12. The Sun is about 4.5 billion years old. (But still shines brightly on young studs.)

13. The outer layers of the Sun exhibit different rotations,  at the equator the surface rotates once every 25.4 days; near the poles it’s as much as 36 days. (I’d like to take a spin with him…)