Shop Windows to the Universe

The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 DVD from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific is in our online store, filled with Earth and space science resources.

Sun Reference Data

Diameter: 1.4 million km
(870,000 miles)

Age: 4.5 billion years
Mass: 330,000 x Earth Distance from Earth: 149.6 million km (93 million miles)
Density: 1.41 (water=1) Distance to Nearest Star: 4.3 light years
Solar Wind Speed: 3 million km/hr. Luminosity: 390 billion billion megawatts
Solar Cycle: 8 - 11 years Temperature at surface: 5,500o C (9,932o F)
Temperature at Core: 14 milliono C (22.5 milliono F) Temperature of Sunspots: 4,000o C (7,232o F)
Rotation Period at Equator: 25 Earth days Rotation Period at Poles: 35 Earth days

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Cool It! is the new card game from the Union of Concerned Scientists that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change—and how policy and technology decisions made today will matter. Cool It! is available in our online store.

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

History of Sunspot Observations

You may not know that humans have observed sunspots for a very long time. These records have been around so long in fact, that we can link sunspot number with solar activity. Large sunspots can sometimes...more

IMF

IMF stands for Interplanetary Magnetic Field. It is another name for the Sun's magnetic field. The Sun's magnetic field is huge! It goes beyond any of the planets. The Sun's magnetic field got its name...more

Coronal Mass Ejections

"Without warning, the relatively calm solar atmosphere can be torn asunder by sudden outbursts of a scale unknown on Earth. Catastrophic events of incredible energy...stretch up to halfway across the visible...more

Solar Activity

The Sun is not a quiet place, but one that exhibits sudden releases of energy. One of the most frequently observed events are solar flares: sudden, localized, transient increases in brightness that occur...more

The Solar Atmosphere

The visible solar atmosphere consists of three regions: the photosphere, the chromosphere, and the solar corona. Most of the visible (white) light comes from the photosphere, this is the part of the Sun...more

The Solar Interior

To understand how our Sun works, it helps to imagine that the inside of the Sun is made up of different layers, one inside the other. The core, or the center of the Sun, is the region where the energy...more

High Altitude Observatory

Scientists at the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) try to understand the changes we see in the Sun over time. They also study how these changes affect the atmosphere of the Earth. There are four main areas...more

Sun's Effect on Earth's Weather (Wind)

Energy from the Sun affects many things on Earth. One of the main things the Sun does is warm our planet, including the atmosphere. This energy drives much of our weather. The solar cycle, the rise and...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA