Life on earth depends on the sun. Day after day we see its light and feel its warmth, but we do not often consider their origin. Yet there are many remarkable things about the sun. One is its distance from the earth. This is about ninety-three million miles. A journey of this distance, even if it could be made, would take several hundred years even in the fastest rocket.
The sun is a large star. The planet earth is very small in comparison. One hundred and nine globes the size of the earth would be needed to stretch from one side of the sun to the other. The sun makes us feel hot, even at a distance of ninety-three millions miles. This is not surprising. The temperature on the sun is about ten thousand degrees Fahrenheit. But we receive only a small part of this heat. The total heat of the sun could melt a column of ice two and a quarter miles thick and ninety-three million miles high in one second.
The brightness of the sun is equally astonishing. The sun gives such a bright light that 1.575.000.000.000.000.000.000 wax candles would be needed to give an equal light. This very long row of figures gives us some idea of the brilliance of the sun. As we said earlier, we receive only very small part of the sun’s heat. We also receive only a very small part of its light. This is sufficient for the growth of trees and plants, and for the existence of living creatures on earth. Too much heat and light would destroy the balance of life. The heat and light from the sun come in just the right quantities for life on earth.
- What makes life on the earth possible?
- Why would a journey from the earth to the sun not be possible?
- How many globes the size of the earth would be needed to stretch across the sun?
- What shapes is a globe?
- Is the sun a start or a planet?