Sun Unit Study

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The Sun provides us with light and heat. While these are two obvious facts about the Sun, there is so much more to learn. A Sun unit study is such a fun way to learn about this amazing star in our solar system! 

sun unit study, sun study, sun unit

One of my favorite ways to study science as a child and as a homeschool mom was through specific topics of interest. The solar system is something that nearly every child has an interest in and can enjoy. The thought of another world outside of the one we can see fills them with wonder. 

I love watching the sunrise in the morning and set in the evening. Feeling the warmth on my face and knowing the blessing of another day. Simply beautiful. Watching them from space? I can only imagine! 

Sun Unit Study

Sun

The gravity of the Sun holds the entire solar system together. This dwarf star is a hot ball of gases, just like billions of other stars we see in the night sky. 

Since the Sun is a star, it is made up of gases specifically, the Sun is a mixture of hydrogen and helium.

Without the Sun at its exact place in the galaxy, we could not live on the Earth for many reasons. Nothing would be able to grow, it wouldn’t be warm enough to live here, nor would we have the climate and seasons that we know and love. 

The stream of particles and magnetic fields that the Sun constantly releases is called the solar wind. This wind travels across our solar system and can stream all the way to planet surfaces unless stopped by either a planet’s atmosphere, magnetic field, or both.

  • Name

Over time, the Sun has had different names, including; ‘Sol’, ‘Soleil’, ‘Sonne’ and ‘Helios’. Later in the 1600s, the more common spelling of ‘Sun’ came into popular use. 

  • Size 

The Sun is larger than any planet in the solar system up to 277:1! This graphic helps to understand just how small our solar system is when compared with the Sun.

    • Radius

While the Sun is much larger than any of the planet in our galaxy, it is actually not a large star with its radius totaling 432,168.6 miles.

    • Diameter

To find the diameter of a circle, you multiply the radius times two. The Sun’s diameter is 864,337.2 miles. You would need to line up more than 100 Earths to cover the face of the Sun. 

    • Mass

The mass of the Sun is 2.1978 × 1027 short tons. A short ton is equal to 2000 pounds. To match the mass of the Sun, it would take more than 325,000 Earths. Remember, that mass is how heavy something is without gravity. The difference between weight and mass is that weight is determined by the pull of gravity on an object. 

    • Volume

The Sun’s volume is equal to that of 1.3 million Earths with a total of 338,102,469,632,763,000 miles3.

    • Surface area

Finding the surface area of the Sun you need to determine how many square units that will exactly cover its surface. How many do you think you would need to cover the Sun? The actual surface area of the Sun is 2,347,017,636,988 square miles. 

    • Density

Since the Sun is a star its density changes between its layers. The mean density of the Sun is 1410 kg/m3.  

  • Location in the Solar System

The Sun is the center of our solar system. All of the planets and moons surround it. 

  • Distance from the Galactic Center

26,000 light-years separate the Sun from the Galactic Center. A light-year is the distance light travels in one year, which is equal to 5,878,499,810,000 miles.

  • Distance from Earth

There are 93 million miles that separate the Earth from the Sun. 

  • Layers

The Sun is made up of 6 different layers. The core, the radiative zone, and the convective zone make up the star’s interior. The visible surface is called the photosphere. Followed by the chromosphere and then the outermost region of the Sun is the corona.

The photosphere layer is 300 miles thick. What we see as sunlight is actually radiation coming from the photosphere layer of the Sun! 

  • Temperature

The Sun’s core temperature is 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. In the convective zone temperatures drop below 3.5 million degrees Fahrenheit. On the surface of the Sun the temperature is approximately 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  • Orbit

The average speed that the solar system is moving through the milky way is 450,000 miles per hour. 

  • Axis Rotation

At the equator, the Sun spins around once about every 25 days, but at its poles, the Sun rotates once on its axis every 36 Earth days.

  • Atmosphere

The Sun’s thin atmosphere is where we see sunspots and solar flares. In the atmosphere of the Sun, the higher the altitude the higher the temperature — reaching 3.5 million degrees Fahrenheit! 

  • Solar Eclipse

There are times when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, blocking light to the world. When this happens, it is called a solar eclipse. 

Please note, that some of the resources below may include evolutionary information. I encourage you to have a conversation with your children or preview these resources prior to assigning them as part of your homeschool studies. 

Articles

The Sun

Our Sun is Special

How Hot are the Sun and Other Stars?

Will the Sun Run Out?

Is the Sun Shrinking?

Interesting Sun Facts

Our Star, the Sun

Sun Facts and Information

The Sun by Scholastic

Sun Facts

What is a Solar Eclipse?

Where Does the Sun’s Energy Come From?
Literature


Videos

Our Incredible Sun













Art

Squish Painted Sun

How to Paint a Bright Sun

Painted Paper Sun Art

How to Paint a Sunset

Melted Crayon Sun Art

How to Draw the Sun

Step-by-Step Acrylic Sun Painting

Sun Acrylic Fluid Painting

How to Paint a Basic Sunset

Solar Powered Pictures

Sun Portraits

Crafts

Coffee Filter Sun Craft

Sun Mosaic

Tissue Paper Sun Catcher

Sun Sewing Craft

Cupcake Liner Sun Craft

Sun Weaving

Woven Sun Craft

Sun Handprint

Popsicle Stick Sun Craft

Sun Spinner

Paper Plate Sun Craft

Sun Handprint Paper Plate Craft

Games and Activities

Sun Catcher Sensory Bags

Solar Tricktionary Online Game

Sun Sensory Tub

Making an Eclipse

Colors of the Sun

Daylight Designs

Printables

Sun Notebooking Pages

Fun Sun Facts for Kids

Sun Counting

Parts of the Sun Poster and Flash Cards

Sun Word Search

Structure of the Sun

Sun Shape Sorting

Parts of the Sun

Sun as a Star Educator Guide

Food

Sun Cracker Plate

Sunshine Tea

Sun Bread

You are My Sunshine Lunch

Sun Food Art

The Sun is a beautiful star that gives life to our world. At the beginning of a new day, it brings a smile to your face. The end of a day is beautiful to behold as the sun is setting on the horizon. I’m so thankful for sunny days and my dream would be to live somewhere it shines every day! 

What did your kids enjoy learning the most through your Sun unit study?

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