What is the Sun

The sun is actually a star at the middle of our Solar System.  Its actually about 4.5 billion years old and made mostly of the gas hydrogen.  The size of the sun is huge, about 430,000 mile in diameter.  To put that in perspective, we could fit about 1 million earths inside of the sun. Chemical reactions inside of the sun are the reason that it is so bright and its temperature is around 27,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Distance to Earth

Thankfully, the sun is about 93 million miles away from the earth, which is the perfect distance for life to exist on earth.  If we were closer, we’d probably be too hot, if we were further, we’d probably be too cold. 

Rotation, Orbit, and Tilt

The sun and earth don’t just set 93 million miles apart and live a happy existence.  There are two other factors that bring us our days and years.

The earth has a natural rotation that takes 24 hours to complete and what we call a day.  This is the reason that we have both daytime and nighttime.  Also because of this, the surface of the earth doesn’t get too hot.  As one side is warming up, the other is cooling down.  This also leads to what we call weather.  By warming up and cooling down different air masses the pressures of the air change, and start to move.  This leads to what we call wind, which is a main factor in changing weather. 

The orbit of the earth around the sun gives us our year.  It takes about 365 days to make a trip around the sun.  This trip is over 585 million miles long.  The Earth’s orbit is nearly a perfect circle.  However, we do get a bit closer to the sun.  However, we actually get closest to the sun in the middle of winter. 


To understand seasons, head to our “Weather 101:  The Seasons”