Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sun facts for a discussion with long term care residents

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The Sun

Some people from long ago thought of the Sun as a god. They did not want the god to be angry with them. To keep the Sun happy, they offered it gifts such as gold and food.

People in ancient Egypt, Asia and Greece worshipped the sun.
They thought that an eclipse of the sun, when the moon passes in front of the sun and blocks the light, was the sun god showing anger. The Greeks called the sun Helios. The Romans called it Sol.

The Sun is our closest star. It is a member of the Milky Way galaxy. The Sun is a yellow dwarf star, which means it is a medium size star. It is believed to be over 4 billion years old. The Sun spins slowly on its axis as it revolves around the galaxy.

The center, or core, of the Sun is very hot. A process called "nuclear fusion" takes place there. Nuclear fusion produces a lot of energy. Some of this energy travels out into space as heat and light. Some of it arrives at Earth! Streams of gas particles known as the solar wind also flow out from the Sun.

On the Sun's surface, we can see storms. We call these storms "sunspots" because they look like dark spots on the Sun's surface. The Sun also produces big explosions of energy called solar flares. These flares shoot fast moving particles off the Sun's surface. These particles can hit the Earth's atmosphere and cause a glow called an aurora.

The sun is the closest star to Earth, and is the centre of our solar system.

The sun is a huge, spinning ball of hot gas that glows in the sky. Our sun is a medium sized star. It looks larger and brighter than the other stars because it the nearest star to Earth. It is about 150 million kilometres away.

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