The Sun

Fast Facts:

  • average distance from Earth is 150 million km
  • temperature on the surface is 5,500 degrees Celsius
  • temperature in the centre is 15 million degrees Celsius
  • is made up of a helium core with hydrogen outer layer
  • cooler areas on the surface are called sunspots
  • it takes 27 days to rotate
  • hydrogen plumes that shoot off into space are called prominences
  • prominences can travel up to 1000 kilometres per second
  • it is 4,600 million years old
  • diameter is 1.4 million km

Prominences are huge clouds of relatively cool dense plasma suspended in the Sun's hot, thin corona. At times, they can erupt, escaping the Sun's atmosphere. The hottest areas appear almost white, while the darker red areas indicate cooler temperatures.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Northwestern University