Interesting Facts

Interesting Facts

Comparative sizes of the Solar System

Sun and EarthSolar_System_3
Larger planets and EarthSolar_System_2
Earth and Smaller PlanetsSolar_System_1

Solar Eruptions (Solar Flares)


Solar Eruptions (Solar Flares) occur when colossal amounts of energy and matter are released from the Sun’s surface, also called coronal mass ejection (CME).
Left Image: Compares size of the Earth to the Solar eruption on 31 Dec, 2012, which gracefully rose up above the Sun and most of the plasma fell back into the Sun. Length of the eruption is about 160,000 miles and the Earth is about 7,900 miles in diameter.
Right Image: March 16, 2013 eruption
Source: SDO and NASA

More on Solar Eruptions

Keep up with the Sun’s daily activity at
On 31 August, 2012 a long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the Sun’s atmosphere, the corona, erupted out into space at 2:06 am IST. The coronal mass ejection (CME) traveled away from the Sun at over 1,450 km/sec (900 miles/sec).

While highly interesting and astounding in size, CMEs are a fairly common event. This one is special because National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) captured it from a variety of viewpoints by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO), and the joint ESA/NASA Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).

Albert Einstein — “A human being is a part of a whole, called by us ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Surface of the Sun
Attack of the Sun

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Did you know? Few interesting facts below

  • Solar radiation takes approx. 8:19 minutes to travel ~150 million kilometres from the Sun to the Earth
    • Our distance from the Sun: 147 million km at Perihelion (3 January) and 152 million km at Aphelion (4 July)
  • Physical characteristics of the Sun
    • Diameter of the earth: 7,900 miles (12,7 km); Diameter of the sun: 870,400 miles (1,392,700 km)
    • Compared to the Earth, Sun’s diameter is 110x Earth, Sun’s volume is 1,300,000x Earth and mass is 333,000x Earth
  • Amount of solar energy reaching the earth’s surface in a year is about 885 million TWh
    • Earth’s primary energy supply in 2008 was 142,712 TeraWatt-Hours (TWh)
    • Sun provides about 6,200x times more energy needed by the earth
  • Solar panels first appeared on the market in 1956
    • Space programs started using photovoltaic powered systems in 1958, and are still used today
  • In July 2010, Solar Impulse became the first manned solar aircraft to fly overnight; completing its first intercontinental flight from Spain to Morocco in June 2012

What Happens When the Sun Dies?

Like everything else, one day the Sun will exhaust all its fuel – when it has finished fusing all the hydrogen into helium. The core will shrink, generating excessive heat that will cause the outer layers to balloon into the solar system. The Sun will become a red giant, expanding slowly until it becomes about 200 times larger than today, engulfing the current orbits of the inner planets, and possibly the Earth… creator, sustainer and finally the destroyer… But do not worry much, if you are reading this, you are probably 5.4 billion years in the past from that occurrence, and sitting roughly in the middle Sun’s 10 billion year life.