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Solar System Exploration
Sun: Kids
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Sun - Our Star

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Our star - the Sun - is the center of our solar system. Without our Sun, there would be no life on Earth.

Our solar system is made up the Sun, eight planets, 146 moons, a bunch of comets, asteroids and space rocks, ice and several dwarf planets, such as Pluto. The eight planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Our Sun is a ball of hot, glowing gases. The part we can see is about 11,000 degrees F (6,100 degrees C). It gets hotter as you go deeper. The hottest the oven in your kitchen gets is 500?F (260 degrees C). The surface of our Sun boils like a pot of soup. It also shoots flares of hot gas thousands of miles into space.

The Sun is way too hot to visit. A person or spacecraft couldn't even get near it. Even if you could get close, powerful gravity would make one of your arms weigh as much as your whole body. It would be impossible to move.

Challenge Graphic
SOLAR SYSTEM CHALLENGE Up to five planets are visible in Earth's night sky. Which ones do you think they are? Why? Now go out and try to find the planets. (Note: Bright city lights make some planets harder to see than others.)

Missions to Sun
Featured Mission: Ulysses
Ulysses is the first spacecraft to study the unexplored region of space above our Sun's poles.
Go Figure!
A 'cool' temperature on the sun. About 6,100°C.
Tons of dynamite you'd have to explode every second to match the energy produced by the Sun.
Rough number of crushed up Earths that could fit inside our Sun.
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Last Updated: 5 May 2014