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Our Sun


SOHO (ESA & NASA)

 

    Our sun is a typical star: average mass, average temperature, and middle-aged.  The sun (and all other stars for that matter) is far from being boring, though.  It is actually a giant ball of burning gas (mostly hydrogen and helium), constantly flaring up, and a very hostile place.  To safely view our nearest star, come out on Solar SUNdays.  Here is some fun information on the sun:

        Solar Facts

        Solar Anatomy

        Solar and Lunar Eclipses

        Solar Movies

 

The geeky stuff ...

    In order to produce energy in the form of light, and to keep from collapsing under its own gravity, our sun must fuse atoms together.  Because of quantum mechanics, a proton can be turned into a neutron under certain conditions.  To acquaint yourself with the properties of an atom, click here.  Our sun converts hydrogen into helium through a process called the proton-proton chain.  At a certain point, the star will begin to fuse helium atoms into heavier elements (like carbon and oxygen).

 

 

    The very best site on the internet that we have found for information on the sun is at http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov.  They also have a continuous current solar photo if you click on the top left photo (the sun now), then on MDI Continuum (for sunspots) or on EIT 304 (for solar flares).  The SOHO website also features cool free stuff like the live sun image screen saver and neat wallpaper for your computer.  Have fun!

 

*Images courtesy of SOHO/EIT consortium.  SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.

Our Sun

Our Moon

Solar System

Deep Sky Objects

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Website last updated March 16,  2006.  Hosted by Anthony Watts, KMXI Radio.  Webmasters Tiara Norris and Brendan Diamond.