What are the main differences between the sun and other stars?

The main differences huh? I guess the most important difference between our Sun and other stars is that the Sun is closer to Earth than any other star. The other possible differences are mass, size, temperature, and age.

The Sun is a pretty small star as compared with the giants in the Universe.Only about one out of one hundred stars are more than eight times as massive as our Sun. The largest star, Mu Cephei is so large you could fit over one billion of our Suns inside of it!

Most stars, about nine out of ten, are less massive than the Sun. The smallest are only about three times as big as Earth. About one out of ten stars are similar in mass to our Sun.

The temperature of a star can be figured out by what color it is. Stars which are cooler than our Sun are red and orange. Stars hotter than ours are white, or blue-white. Our Sun is a middle-aged star, about five billion years old. As stars age they change in size, temperature, and can even lose mass. Stars are classified on the Hertzsprung-Russel (HR) diagram (shown in the picture), on which our Sun is classified as a main sequence star.

Submitted by Sarah Jo (Sydney, Australia)
Windows original artwork

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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