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  • Sunlight is so strong that it can damage your eyesight and even blind you.
  • Never look directly at the sun through a telescope, binoculars, or sunglasses.

Did you know that the sun is really a star?

It looks much larger than the stars we see in the sky at night. Although many of those stars are even larger than the sun, they look smaller because they are even farther away from the earth.
All stars produce huge amounts of energy. Each star is like a powerhouse of energy. In one second, the sun, for example, produces 4 million short tons (3.6 million metric tons) of energy. Without the sun’s energy there would be no life on earth. The earth would be completely dark and freezing cold.

Heat energy travels from the core of the sun to its surface. Energy is released from the sun’s surface as electromagnetic radiation.


The sun is a huge ball of hot substances. The hottest part is in the center, or core. Here, the fierce heat causes atoms of hydrogen to join together in the process called nuclear fusion. During nuclear fusion, huge amounts of energy are released. This energy flows outwards from the core to the surface of the sun.
The surface of the sun is like a sea of continually exploding gases and boiling liquids. Much of the sun’s energy is heat and light, and this travels out, or radiates, in all directions. The sun is the source of almost all the energy we use.

A fountain of gas flares up from the surface of the sun, reaching as far as 992,000 miles (1,600,000 kilometers) into space.

Will the sun burn itself out?

If the sun is producing so much heat and light, why doesn’t it burn itself out like a coal fire or a match? The answer is that it will burn itself out, one day. It will swell up into a giant red star and use up the rest of its fuel. But don’t worry—that day is about 5 billion years away!

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