Hey Folks, today I am very happy to tell all you people that the article which I wrote for our university magazine has been published. And I am posting it on my blog in the text format, as well as the image format scanned from the magazine. I hope you enjoy it. And don’t forget to write your comments, suggestions and feedback.
Our Sun is a star, the nearest we have, yet it is 150 million kilometers away from the Earth and is a giant ball of gas and plasma. What makes it special for us Earthlings is that we owe our existence to it. You might think that ‘Is 150 million kilometers near to us?’ The answer is yes. Other stars are billions and trillions of kilometers away from us. When compared with the distance of other stars from Earth, the Sun is indeed very near.
The Sun was named Helios by Greeks and was supposed to be a handsome god which drove the sun across the sky each day shining light for the people of Earth. Sun is a very important component of life. It sustains life on Earth. Without the sun, life on earth wouldn’t be possible. Rainfall, vegetation and human health all directly depend upon the presence of Sun.
The diameter of sun is about 1,400,000 kilometers, which is more than 100 times bigger than that of the Earth. The Sun contains 99.86% of all the mass of the solar system. The rest 0.14% mass is contained in all the planets and their moons.
The Sun is just an ordinary star like quadrillions of others present in this Universe. It produces intense heat and radiations by nuclear reactions taking place in its core. Sun can be thought of a gigantic nuclear reactor which in every second turns 600 million tons of Hydrogen into Helium. The fusion of Hydrogen atoms releases tremendous amount of energy which is radiated in all of the solar system and beyond.
It has been known since ancient times that sun rays are good for health. Doctors recommend at least 10 minutes of exposure of sunlight daily for a healthy life. Sunlight can synthesize adequate amounts of vitamin D in our body to keep our bones strong and healthy. New research has shown that calcium and vitamin D supplements lower the risk of getting a cancer up to 60 percent.
According to the modern calculations, the size of the Sun is found to be increasing day by day. In about 5 billion years, the sun will become 250 times bigger than its present size and convert to a red giant. It is due to the gradual loss of mass. Due to the resultant decrease in gravitational pull the planets will move away from the Sun. Despite this, scientists have estimated that, about 5 billion years from now, the sun will boil away all the water from the surface of Earth. The atmosphere will be disintegrated by the intense heat and finally the Earth would be completely engulfed by the Sun. After another billion years the Sun would completely shed off its outer layers of gas and its core would collapse to form a white dwarf that may take another trillion years to cool off completely.