CLASSROOM

 

A solar system is composed of a star and all of the objects that orbit around it. [1] Our solar system orbits around a star called the sun. The sun is a medium-sized yellow star, or a class G star. With a surface temperature of 5,000-6,000K (8,540 °F – 10,340°F) and radius of about 174,000 km (~108,000miles), the sun is made of roughly 74% Hydrogen and 24% Helium with 2% other trace elements. It is currently about halfway through its 9 billion year lifetime. [2] Once at the end of its lifetime the sun will become a white dwarf star. The sun converts hydrogen into helium through a process called nuclear fusion, producing power radiated at a rate of 3.84 x10^26 Watts. [2]
Image from: www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/News111312-m6flare.html

References:

[1] Dunford, Bill. “Our Solar System: Overview: Our Galactic Neighborhood.” Edited by Phillip Davis, Solar System Exploration: NASA Science, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology,www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/styles/673xvariable_height/public/706436main_20121114-304-193blend_m6-orig_full.jpg?itok=9Mu_otTL.

[2]  Pisacane, V. L. (2016). The space environment and its effects on space systems. Reston, VA: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

[3] Fox, Karen C. “Sun Emits a Mid-Level Flare.” NASA, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, 13 Nov. 2012, www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/News111312-m6flare.html.