So, Just What is the Composition of the Sun?
A couple of weeks ago, we did a post on 6 incredible pictures of the Sun from space. Since those pictures are indeed pretty incredible, I’m guessing that by now, you’re asking yourself, “Just what is the composition of the Sun anyway”? What could produce such great images?
Those are just the kind of questions we love to answer here at Outer Space Universe!
Let’s begin by talking about what the Sun is. As we all know, the Sun is a star. It is at the center of our solar system. As far as size goes, it has a diameter of about 865,000 miles and has a mass 330,000 times that of the Earth. It is BIG!
The Sun consists mainly of Hydrogen (73%) and Helium (25%) with Oxygen, Carbon, Iron, Sulfur, Neon, Nitrogen, Silicon, and Magnesium making up the rest. The Sun is not a solid – it doesn’t have a hard surface like we do here on Earth, rather, it exists in what is called a plasmatic state (an ionized gaseous state).
Believe it or not, the Sun’s color is actually white. We see it as yellow here on Earth because of atmospheric scattering. The Sun has this color because it is constantly fusing hydrogen nuclei into helium in a process called nuclear fusion. This process produces an enormous amount of light and heat. It is what keeps us alive here on Earth!