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Boy in Wheelchair
The Sun
Some people from long ago thought of the Sun as a god. They did not want the god to be angry with them. To keep the Sun happy, they offered it gifts such as gold and food.

The Sun is our closest star. It is a member of the Milky Way galaxy. The Sun is a yellow dwarf star, which means it is a medium size star. It is believed to be over 4 billion years old. The Sun spins slowly on its axis as it revolves around the galaxy.

The center, or core, of the Sun is very hot. A process called "nuclear fusion" takes place there. Nuclear fusion produces a lot of energy. Some of this energy travels out into space as heat and light. Some of it arrives at Earth! Streams of gas particles known as the solar wind also flow out from the Sun.

On the Sun's surface, we can see storms. We call these storms "sunspots" because they look like dark spots on the Sun's surface. The Sun also produces big explosions of energy called solar flares. These flares shoot fast moving particles off the Sun's surface. These particles can hit the Earth's atmosphere and cause a glow called an aurora.

The Sun

Music Sing me part of a song about the Sun!

Star Dog icon (looking right)

A Question

A sunspot is a _________?

  1. solar flare
  2. vacation spot
  3. Sun storm
Star Dog icon (looking left)
The Facts
Did you know?
The Answer
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The StarChild site is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/ GSFC.

StarChild Authors: The StarChild Team
StarChild Graphics & Music: Acknowledgments
StarChild Project Leader: Dr. Laura A. Whitlock
Curator: J.D. Myers
Responsible NASA Official: Phil Newman