Sun Fun: 10 Fast Facts by the Numbers

It’s feisty, fiery, mysterious, misunderstood, worshipped and feared. It’s the stuff of legend, folklore, gods and goddesses.

Mythology and deities aside, there’s a lot of science behind the sun. NASA has been studying the sun in some shape, form or fashion for decades and there’s still a lot to learn. Here’s what we know for sure about Earth’s hottest commodity:

8 minutes – Time it takes for light from the sun to reach Earth

60 minutes – Time it takes for enough solar energy to strike Earth and fulfill energy needs for one year

50 percent – Energy from the sun that reaches Earth’s surface  

9,941 degrees – Sun’s surface temperature in degrees Fahrenheit (5,500 Celsius)

1 million – Number of Earths that could fit inside the sun

27 million – Sun’s core temperature in degrees Fahrenheit (15 million Celsius)

93 million – Miles between Earth and the sun

4.6 billion – Years ago the sun was ‘born’

5 billion – Estimated years left for the sun to maintain its current nuclear fuel properties

100 billion – Dynamite in tons that would need to explode every second to match the energy produced by the sun