Visiting the Sun
Geocache coordinates: 47.6235, -122.5184 | 47°37’24.6N 122°31’6.2W
Distance from the Sun: 0 mi
Diameter: 864,575.9 mi
Modeled distance from the Sun: 0 mi
Modeled diameter: 5 feet
The nearest star to Earth is named Sol, but we know it as the Sun. The Sun is the biggest object in our solar system, hogging 99.86% of all the mass. The Sun is so large that over 100 Earth could fit along the diameter, and it would take 1.3 million Earth balls to fill up the Sun!
In our model the Sun has been shrunk down to a mere 5 feet in diameter, that is nearly a factor of a billion! Even at this size, the Sun would weight a shocking 9,215 pounds! How do we know? We can use the density of the sun (88 pounds per cubic foot) and multiply it by the volume of our little Sun!
The Sun, made up mostly of hydrogen and helium, is a yellow dwarf star that is 4.6 billion years old (not very old by galactic standards, but ancient by ours!), and has a core of 15 million degrees Celsius. Someday the Sun will run out of hydrogen. As it begins to burn helium it will get larger and larger, turning into a hungry red giant that will gobble up Mercury, Venus, and then Earth. After if finishes off the helium (and it’s red giant phase) it will shrink…a lot…until it is just about the size of Earth.