The Sun and The Moon: Everything you need to know

Introduction about The Sun and The Moon

The sun and moon are not merely an object that we see in our sky, they are more than an object. They strongly affect our day-to-day life. Our day starts with the sun and ends with it too, while we can’t imagine our night without the moon and stars. In this article, we are going on a wonderful journey full of knowledge and interesting facts about the sun and the moon.

Do you know what happens if we don’t have sun? Or if the moon doesn’t emit lights and energy like the sun then how does it shine? what is the temperature of the surfaces of the sun and the moon? Or how much time does it take for light to travel from the sun’s core to the surface? or how hot is the sun’s core? and many more. Well, there are a lot of questions that may or may not arise in your mind about the sun and moon. But it doesn’t matter, their answer will blow your mind. So if you’re interested to know and want to grow, what you have to do is just follow the article guys.

The sun

The Sun is the most essential part of our solar system. We all know life on earth is not possible without the sun. We have electricity, rain, blowing winds (winds blow from high pressure to low pressure and that condition from due to temperature that sun provides), beautiful greenery, oxygen (oxygen emitted by plants in photosynthesis that are not possible without sunlight), and many more because of the sun. Sun provides a balance in our environment. Also, sunlight provides vitamin D to our bodies. We all know that on earth the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The reason behind this is the earth which rotates on its axis towards the east. So all the stars, moon, and Sunrise are in the east and set in the west.

The Sun is nearly a perfect sphere in shape and it consists of hot and glowing gas. It is mostly made up of only hydrogen and helium. The temperature of the sun’s surface is 5,500°C. Its size is slightly bigger than the average size of stars but still, its volume is 1.3 million times Earth’s volume. The diameter of the sun is 1,393,684 km and its distance from the earth is about 150 million km. The sun contains 99.8 percent of all the matter of our solar system. It is due to the force of gravity of the sun that all planets follow their orbital path around the sun. When we closely view the sun’s surface then it reveals a world of astonishing violence, its seething surface bursting with vast eruptions that hurl fiery gases into space. The energy produced by the sun every second is 385 million billion gigawatts.

Inside the sun

NASA’s Parker solar probe is a spacecraft nearly the size of a small car and is the first to touch the sun’s surface. Since no one succeeded in going much deeper into the sun’s surface, we can’t say anything about the sun’s interior exactly. But according to scientific studies scientists divide the sun’s interior into three different layers. These layers are the core, the radiative zone, and the convective zone. All these three layers consist of only and only gas but if you travel to the core the gas gets denser and denser.

Different layers of the sun along with some important term

The core.  The temperature of the core is 15million °C. Also, the gas of which the core is made up is about 150 times denser than the water. Inside the hot and highly dense core, the process of nuclear fission occurs which releases a tremendous amount of energy. In this process of nuclear fission, about every second 620 million tonnes of hydrogen are fused into helium in the core.

Radiative zone. Outside the core, there is a radiative zone, which is not dense enough to conduct a nuclear fusion. Energy through this zone travels very slowly to the surface.

Convective zone. In this zone, vast bubbles of the hot gas rise to the surface of the sun and then cool down and fall to the surface. By this process, they transfer energy from the sun’s heat to the exterior.

Energy release, rotation of the sun, and mass ejections

Release of energy. Most of us know that it takes about 8 minutes for light from the sun to reach the earth. Also, most of us don’t know that it takes about 100,000 years for the energy that is released from the core to travel to the surface of the sun and emerge as a light. The reason behind this very slow journey is the dense radiative zone.  When the energy passes through that zone it is absorbed and re-emitted by trillions of atoms.

Rotation of the sun. Like all the objects in space, the sun also rotates. Unlike the earth, which is a solid object, the sun is a ball of gas. Also being a ball of gas the sun rotates at different speeds at different places. The equator region of the sun takes 25 earth days to complete one cycle of rotation, while the polar region takes 34 days.

Mass ejections. Huge bubbles of superhot gas, plasma, erupt from the sun’s surface up to 3 times a day. Each bubble contains around a billion tonnes of mass. This phenomenon is known as coronal mass ejections. These bubbles grow millions of km wide in a few hours and then burst. Also, that burst of bubbles sends a blast of charged particles and these particles travel at a high speed across the solar system. These blast waves sometimes collide with the earth, and this collision lights up the polar skies with unusually brilliant auroras.

Some important terms about the sun

Loop prominence. Gigantic loops of glowing gas extend high above the sun’s surface and loops are anchored to the sun’s tangled magnetic field. These loops are called loop prominence.  Also, these loops or we can say gas eruptions can last for months.

Photosphere. The apparent surface of the sun is known as the photosphere. And the energy of the sun escaped into space from these photospheres as light.

Solar flare. A sudden burst of energy from the sun’s surface is known as a solar flare.

Sunspots.  Cooler and darker patches on the sun are known as sunspots. Many sunspots rise and fall over a cycle of 11 years.

Spikes of gas. Jets of hot gas rise from the sun’s surface all the time. These jets resemble towering spikes like shapes called spicules that last for a minute before collapsing. Also, these formations can reach thousands of km in height. When we see them from above they resemble shimmering, hair-like patterns around a sunspot.

Grainy surface. The bubbles of hot gas that rise inside the sun make its surface look grainy. Interestingly there are about 4 million granules on the sun’s face. Also, each of them is about 1000 km ( 600 miles) wide and lasts for about 8 minutes.

According to astronomers, our sun will die in about 7-8 million years. If you want to know more about the sun(star) death and birth then follow the link.

The moon

Moon is the nearest neighbor of our mother earth in space. So we know a lot of things about it. It is also known as the natural satellite of the earth. The moon looms larger than any other object in the night sky. Also interestingly the moon doesn’t produce its light, what we see is just a reflection of the sunlight. As per the scientist, the moon’s surface is a cratered one, cold, and lifeless. It would take around 18 days to fly to the moon at the speed of a Jumbo Jet. Interestingly every year the moon drifts 3.78 centimeters further away from the earth.

The diameter of the moon is about 3,474 km. Also, the average surface temperature of the moon is about –53°C (–63°F). The time taken by the moon to complete one rotation on its axis is known as lunar day. Also, the length of the lunar day and time is taken by the moon to complete one rotation of the earth is 27 earth days. If we assume the earth’s gravitational value as 1 then the Moon’s gravitational value will be 0.17. It means our weight on the moon will be 0.17 times the weight on the earth.

Formation of the moon

As per the scientist’s opinion, the moon was formed due to the collision of the earth and the planet 4.5 million years ago. This collision blasts molten rocks into space. So the debris that formed during the collision due to the earth’s gravity starts rotating around it and forms a disc of debris. Then these particles eventually join together to form a moon.

Phases of the moon

As we discussed above, the moon rotates around the earth so it changes the amount of face bathed in sunlight. That’s why the moon goes through different phases. Also, these different phases are New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Last Quarter, Waning Crescent, and New Moon. It takes around 29.5 days for the moon to complete one cycle of phases.

the phases of the moon

The far side

As the moon is rotating on its axis like earth and also revolving around the earth. So the moon does it in such a manner that it keeps the same face towards the earth. Also the face we can never see from the earth is known as the far side. To view the far side we have to use spacecraft. Interestingly the crust of the far side is thicker and more heavily cratered than the near side.

Lunar craters

As per the scientist when the moon was young it was bombarded by asteroids which resulted in the formation of craters. Larger craters at that time are flooded with volcanic lava. Due to this, the formation of a dark and flat plain surface of the moon resembles a sea. These dark flat areas are also known as Maria.  We can find craters all over the moon’s surface. Their size varies from the small bowl-shaped hollows that are a few kilometers wide to the vast South Pole-Aitken Basin, which is 2,500 km in diameter. Many craters also have a hill at the center which forms as the result of the ground rebound after the asteroid struck. On many parts of the moon, the craters overlap each other, the new one lying on the older one.

Lunar layers

Like the earth, the moon also has different layers that separated long ago when its whole interior was molten. All materials which are light in weight come up and that is heavy sink down to the center. Our moon consists mostly of rocks and metals like silicon, magnesium, iron, calcium, and aluminum. So now we have the layer of the moon as the crust, mantle, inner mantle, outer core, and inner core.

Crust. The crust of the moon is made up of granite-like rocks. Its thickness on the near side is 48 km and it is thicker on the far side which is 74 km.

Mantle. The mantle of the moon is mainly a solid rock. It is rich in silicate minerals, which are common on the earth. As we go towards the center the mantle gets hotter and hotter. The bottom part of the mantle is partly molten; this is due to the heat from the radioactive elements.

Core. The core of the moon consists of the two parts inner and outer. As per the scientist, the Outer core is molten but the inner core is squeezed solid by the pressure of the rock around it. The inner core consists of a wide ball of solid iron which is 480 km wide. The inner core is heated around 1,400°C by energy from radioactive elements.

Conclusion of our article about The Sun and The Moon

So now I hope you get answers to all of your questions. Let’s summarize what topics we cover in our article. So in this article, we try to explore as much as possible about the sun and the moon. We read about the sun and its importance. Also, we studied the interior of the sun and Energy release, rotation of the sun on its axis, and mass ejections. We also discussed some important terminologies that you must know about the sun. In the moon section, we discussed the formation and phases of the moon along with the far side and the lunar layers and craters.

I hope you enjoy the article and get all the necessary and required knowledge.

The sun and the moon both are part of our solar system so if you’re interested in it and want to more about the solar system then follow the link.

Ques. What is the diameter of the sun and how far away the sun is from the earth?

Ans. The diameter of the sun is 1,393,684 km and its distance from the earth is about 150 million km. 

Ques. What is the average temperature of the sun and moon’s surface?

Ans. The temperature of the sun’s surface is 5,500°C and the average surface temperature of the moon is about –53°C.

Ques. What are the sun and the moon made of or what materials do they contain?

Ans. The Sun is nearly a perfect sphere in shape and it consists of hot and glowing gas. Also, it is mostly made up of hydrogen and helium only. Inside the sun there are three layers: the core, the radiative zone, and the convective zone. All these three layers consist of only and only gas but if you travel to the core the gas gets denser and denser.
Our moon consists mostly of rocks and metals like silicon, magnesium, iron, calcium, and aluminum. Inside the moon, there are layers such as the crust, mantle, inner mantle, outer core, and inner core.

Ques. Will the moon eventually hit the earth?

Ans. No, it will not. Every year the moon drifts 3.78 centimeters further away from the earth.

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