Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Spectacular, Mediocre Star

In terms of its size, mass and energy released, the sun is by far the most spectacular body in the solar system. With a radius of 22.8 X108 feet (6.96 X108 m), it is 100 times larger than the earth. Imagine yourself standing in a room with a golf ball. If the golf ball is the earth, the sun would touch the eight-foot ceiling. With a mass of 1.99 1030 kg, the sun is 300,000 times more massive than the earth. And with a surface temperature of 5,780 K (compared to the earth’s average 290 K surface temperature), the sun would melt or vaporize any matter we know.

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