The Sun is the heart of the Solar System in more ways than one. It is not only the center around which all the objects in this small corner of the Milky Way revolve. Its energy also allows our little blue planet to be full of life.
The sun is essential to the Solar System for the following reasons:
The Sun is the largest object in the Solar System. Not only in size, with a diameter of 1,391,000 kilometers (within its interior, there would be space for 1,000,000 planets like Earth)
Regarding its mass, it concentrates 99.8% of all the mass that exists in the Solar System.
It provides an incredible amount of energy. According to NASA, it produces so much energy that it would take 100 billion tons of dynamite to detonate per second to equal its production capacity.
What Is the Importance of the Sun in Our Life?
The Sun is the star that allows life on Earth, providing heat and light. The three main reasons that justify the importance of the Sun are the following:
Provides heat to the earth: The Sun heats the Earth, making it the right temperature for living organisms to live on it.
Provides Light: sunlight allows animals to see day and night (through the moon). This light also helps plants grow thanks to photosynthesis and oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere.
The Sun's gravity helps keep the solar system's planets in a stable orbit around the Sun. Without it, the planets would not rotate and would describe a straight line.
The sun's energy comes from the nuclear fusion reactions that have existed inside it for the last 4.6 billion years. These reactions are chemical reactions in which two hydrogen atoms join (fuse). This reaction generates a large amount of energy that travels for 15 minutes on average through space to Earth's atmosphere through electromagnetic waves.
The visible part has a temperature of about 5,500 ºC. Meanwhile, its nucleus, in which nuclear reactions take place, reaches more than 27 million degrees Celsius.
We can transform solar energy into electricity directly when the Sun radiates devices called solar cells. In addition, The Sun is also responsible for most of the planet's energy sources. Therefore, most of the energy sources on Earth to generate electricity are connected in one way or another with solar energy.
What Are and Why Are Solar Flares Significant?
A solar flare is a sudden and intense release of electromagnetic radiation into the Sun's Chromosphere. Solar flares occur in the solar chromosphere, heating plasma to tens of millions of kelvins and accelerating electrons, protons, and ions resulting in heavier at speeds close to the speed of light. They produce electromagnetic radiation at all electromagnetic spectrum wavelengths, from long radio waves to the shortest gamma rays.
Solar flares are associated with coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which greatly influence our local solar weather. In addition, they produce streams of highly energetic particles in the solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere that can present radiation hazards to spacecraft and astronauts.
Importance of the Sun in Fossil Energy
Fossil fuels such as coal or oil have been generated from organic compounds caused by solar radiation through photosynthesis.
Even though it originates in the Sun, this type of energy is considered non-renewable because the transformation into fossil fuels lasts millions of years.
Why Does the Sun Influence Wind Energy?
Wind energy takes advantage of the force of the wind, which is a consequence of solar energy.
The sun unevenly heats the surface of the earth, which, in turn, transmits the heat to the air. The density of the air varies with the temperature, so it produces zones of high and low pressures, generating air displacements.
Importance of the Sun in Hydraulic Energy
Hydropower harnesses the potential energy of water. Therefore, the water must have a certain height.
Through the water cycle, the sun heats seawater, which turns into steam. Next, the vapor rises due to its lower density with the air and forms clouds. Finally, when the water condenses, it falls as rain on the mountains.