Heliocentric Model of the Solar System
Earth and Space

The Sun is a star

Physics Narrative for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

Our nearest star

Beyond our solar system there are millions and millions of stars, but the nearest star to us is our own Sun.

It may not look like a star but this is simply because it is relatively close to us. Light from the Sun only takes about 8 minutes to reach us, but light from the next nearest star takes 4 years to arrive.

The Sun is a very ordinary star about halfway through its lifetime of 10 000 million years. At the end of its life, the Sun will expand into a red giant star, swallowing the Earth. It is always a bit sad to realise that the Earth will not be around forever. Stars are different than all the other elements of the solar system mentioned so far because they are a source of light. That light is emitted as a result of nuclear reactions.

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