The Sun

As I type this, I realize that there are two parts to this question. The answer to the first part is very complex, but it can easily be explained in layman’s terms. The sun is a plasma that is located at the center of the solar system, and emits photons that illuminate the eight planets. Basically, the sun is a star, but it is a much closer star than the ones you see each night.

The sun is considered to be a relatively medium-sized star. It is classified as a yellow dwarf, which is a star that is a tad bit on the small side, but it is a very massive object. The sun contains about 99% of the solar system’s total matter. The gigantic numbers are not limited to mass; the sun, although small relative to other stars, is huge relative to the planets of the solar system. The sun’s diameter, or the line going from one end of its circumference through the center and to the other end, is about the same as the diameter of 110 Earths. It is so big in fact that even Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, would be able to fit into it hundreds of times.

The answer to the second question is complex, but similar to the first question, it can be answered simplistically as well. The sun is composed of the elements, or the substances that can be broken down no further and retain its properties (the things that are on that Periodic Table that you hate looking at!), helium (the stuff that is currently in blimps) and hydrogen (the stuff that used to be in blimps). These two elements make up about 98% of its mass and 99% of its volume. The sun is not only composed of these elements. It also has trace amounts of Nickel, Iron, Oxygen, and Silicon.

The sun provides light to the solar system by a process known as nuclear fusion. In this process, four hydrogen nuclei combine to form a helium atom. This process creates enormous amounts of energy, which is then dispersed as light throughout the solar system. This process is the reason why the majority of the sun is hydrogen, but there is some that is helium. That helium was once hydrogen.

Sol, otherwise known as the sun, is an important part of not only our solar system, but also our home planet. Plants need sunlight in order to perform photosynthesis, a process by which plants transform sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into glucose (a type of sugar) and oxygen. This oxygen is essential for the survival of homo sapiens (us). Yes, without the sun, life would’ve never developed, and the earth wouldn’t even exist.