The Sun And Its Importance To Planet Earth

The sun is one of the numerous stars in the sky. It is the closest star to the earth and lies at the center of the solar system. One rotation of the sun takes 27 days. It is 4.5 billion years old, which is thought to be its mid age. This means it shall keep shining for about five billion more years to come.

Photosphere is the name given to the surface of the sun. The temperature at the core of the sun is 15.7 million K, a lot hotter than the photosphere’s 5,778 K. This energy is produced via a nuclear reaction called nuclear fusion. During this process, two hydrogen nuclei bond to make one helium nucleus. This process involves release of energy.

The sun is 149.6 million kilometers from the earth. Its diameter is 1.392 million kilometers, which reflects an equatorial circumference of 4.379 million kilometers. Compared to the corresponding measurements of the earth, these are 109 times more. The surface area of the sun is 6.0887 trillion kilometer square, about 11,990 times the earth. Its volume exceeds that of earth by 1.3 million.[I:]

The energy from the sun is called solar energy. It is received by the earth through radiation. Since only a fraction of the radiated energy can be absorbed by our planet, a lot of it is reflected back to space. Life on earth depends on the absorbed energy. It is also responsible for our weather, tides and the water cycle.

Plants make their own food through photosynthesis, a process that is dependent on solar energy. Take note that all living organisms get their food directly or indirectly from plants. In addition, the sun is the cause of energy available in fossils. Examples of such energy sources are petroleum and coal.

The sun is earth’s basic source of energy. This energy reaches us in two main forms, light and heat. Solar energy is also applied in promoting plant growth in green houses, solar lighting and powering electronic devices. There cannot be life on earth without the sun.

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