The sun is the star at the center of our solar system. It is the largest stellar body in our solar system with a diameter of about 1,392,000 km. It is approximately 149.6 million km from Earth. It is classified as a yellow dwarf star, due to the fact that the light received from it is in the yellow-green visual range. The sun is approximately 5,500°C at the surface and the Sun’s outer visible layer is called the photosphere and has a temperature of 6,000°C. Amazingly, the atmosphere can reach temperatures of 100,000°C and the sun’s corona can reach an amazing 1 million degrees Celsius! The sun is the closest star to the earth and it is approximately 109 times the size of the earth. The sun sustains life on earth by giving the planet heat and light. But, what exactly is this important star made of?
What is the sun made of?
Primarily, the sun is made of gas and plasma. Plasma is matter that has been superheated so that it is no longer in a gaseous state. This main composition of the sun in approximately 73% hydrogen and about 25% is helium. There are various other elements in trace amounts such as; oxygen (about 1%), carbon, iron, neon, nitrogen, silicon, magnesium, sulfur, calcium and chromium. The sun produces its energy through a process of nuclear fusion of hydrogen and helium and many of the heavier elements of the sun are created by this process. Scientists believe that one day this process will be able to be recreated on Earth to produce a source of power.