Last updated on July 23rd, 2021
46. Sun spots have a very strong magnet field, which prevents the convection of energy, and thus accounts for their lower temperatures.
47. In fact, the sun is about 400 times larger than the moon.
48. A typical sunspot consists of a dark spot in the middle called the umbra, and a lighter region known as the penumbra.
49. The solar maximum is a period of time during the solar cycle when the number of sunspots is at its highest.
50. Sunspot cycles are repeated every 11 years, and coincide with the occurrence of solar flares.
51. When the solar cycle is at a minimum, flares are rare because active regions are far between.
52. It travels at 20 kilometers per second relative to other stars, and 220 kilometers per second around the Milky Way.
53. Different parts of the sun rotate at different speeds, the fastest being at its equator.
54. The sun’s rotation period at the equator is about 27 days while that at the poles is about 36 days.
55. It completes a revolution around the entire galaxy once every 250 million years.
Facts about its composition
56. The sun is a ball of gas and has no solid surface.
57. Its composition is 91% Hydrogen, 7.8% Helium, and 1% other gases.
58. Helium is the second most abundant element both in the sun and in the universe, but very hard to find on earth.
59. It contains different layers with varying temperatures; the corona, photosphere, chromosphere, and the core.
60. The chromosphere contains spikes of gas called spicules.
61. It is visible as a flash of color at the starting and ending of total solar eclipses.
62. The photosphere is the opaque layer of gas that makes the sun appear to be solid.
63. It’s also responsible for emitting light, and is cooler than the outer most layer, the corona.
64. The transition region is a very narrow (60 miles / 100 km) layer between the chromosphere and the corona where the temperature rises abruptly from about 8000 to about 500,000 K.
65. The corona releases a stream of charged particles referred to as solar wind.
A table of the 10 most common elements in the sun
of total number
(pct. of total mass)
Interesting facts about evolution and life cycle of the Sun
66. The sun is currently in its yellow dwarf stage.
67. It has enough nuclear fuel to stay as it is for 5 billion more years.
68. When its energy (hydrogen) burns out, it will expand into the red giant and consume nearby planets, possibly even earth.
69. Its outer layers will then collapse, and it will become the white dwarf.
70. In the end, it will become a dim and cool celestial body referred to as the black dwarf.