Ninety-three million miles from Earth, a giant ball of hot gas brightens the sky. Nuclear reactions in the Sun's core create energy, which gradually flows to the Sun's surface. This energy reaches Earth in the form of sunlight. The Sun's heat and light warm Earth's surface, drive weather and currents, and make life possible on our planet. We experience the Sun's energy every time we feel its warmth on our skin or see with the aid of sunlight.

Age: 4.6 billion yrs. old Diameter: 870,000 miles
Average Core Temp.: 27,000,000 degrees F
Average Distance from Earth: 93,000,000 miles
Characteristics: middle-aged yellow star; more massive than the average star; produces energy in its core when hydrogen & helium fuse together
Significance: produces heat and light required for life on Earth; drives weather and climate
Cool Fact: The Sun's gravity holds our Solar System together!

Image credits: courtesy of NASA; quote, © AMNH.