On this pages, you can find basic as well as precise information about our favorite star: the Sun. I learned most of what is written in this web site during my studies and by doing research at the Observatory of Paris, at the CEA and at JILA/Colorado/USA.

Let's have a look at the present astrophysician description of the Sun and its inner parts.

The Standard Model of the Sun

The characteristics of the Sun

First, you have to realise that the Sun is a star like any other star, the main difference being from its distance from the Earth (our planet): only 8 min at speed light (299792.5 Km/s) compared to 4.64 light-year for Proxima Centaurus the closest star.

To give you an idea of what is the Sun, I briefly recall the main characteristic numbers of the Sun:

Its radius is 6.9599e5 km (i.e 109 times the Earth's radius), and the mean Sun-Earth distance is 1 au= 1.496e8 km

Its mass is 1.989e30 kg, it's 332945 times the Earth's mass, and one thousand times Jupiter's mass, so in our solar system the Sun represent 99.8% of the total mass!!!

Its density varies from 150 g/cc (central part) down to the interstellar density about 6e-24 g/cc (i.e interplanetar density~solar wind: 3 particles/cc), but we prefer determine a more useful surface limit called the photosphere where the density is around 1e-12 g/cc. It's mean density is 1.409 g/cc (close to the water) compared to the Earth 5.517 g/cc.

Its temperature varies from 1.55e7 Kelvin (i.e 0 celsius = 273.15 Kelvin) down to its photosphere value 5800 K (we generally approximate the radiation (i.e light) of the Sun with a theoretical model called: black body radiation, a simple law (Wien's law) deduced from the black body radiation, connect the wavelenght of the radiation/light in micro-metre to the temperature in Kelvin, /\=2900/T , using the Sun's surface temperature we get /\=0.5 micro-metre, which corresponds to a yellow light, and indeed the Sun is yellow!).

Its spectral type is G2V (yellow dwarf star), its apparent magnitude is -26.8 but its absolute is +4.83.

Its average magnetic field is about 1e-4 tesla and ~0.3 tesla in sunspots.

Because of the thermonuclear origin of its energy production, the Sun (like all the stars ) exists for a long time period, about 10 billion years (for the biggest stars it can be less than 100 million), and its present age is ~4.6 Giga-years.

Its rotational period is 25 days at the equator and ~32 days at the poles, in the Milky Way (i.e our Galaxy) it moves at 220 km/s and makes a round turn in 250 million years!.

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