The Sun – the heart of our solar system

the sunn

Planetary System

The star at the center of the solar system plays a special role for us here on earth. It was formed about 4.5 billion years ago, in the Orion spur (in the milky way galaxy). It was born from the collapse of a cloud and dust called the “solar nebula”. It then condensed into a burning ball of gas, called the sun.

What makes the sun the heart of our solar system?

  1. Its magnetic field
  2. Its gravitational pull.

The sun’s magnetic and gravitational impacts are largely due to its size. It is large enough to hold the solar system intact, it is about 100 earths wide, and it could theoretically fit all 8 planets nearly 600 times. Additionally, it contains about 99.8% of all the mass in the solar system.

If you are guessing that this is why planetary bodies orbit it, you are right. Because of its mass, it has a great pull on the fabric of space, creating a gravitational force that causes nearby bodies to be drawn towards it. Without this pull, the other planets will vanish into deep space.

The magnetic field of the sun is called the heliosphere, and it encapsulates the entire solar system. It protects the planets form harmful cosmic radiation. It is caused by the sun’s plasma, and it causes the pushing of particles towards its poles.

Will the sun last forever? Unfortunately not. It is expected to collapse into a white dwarf in about 6.5 billion years, after it runs out of its hydrogen fuel. That’s such a depressing thought. I hate to imagine what will happen to our existence as a result of this. Maybe we should think of ways to refuel the sun? Or maybe we should just refrain from worrying about things we cannot change. In the meantime, let’s enjoy the sun’s magnetic field, gravitational pull and vast amounts of energy.

Can we travel at the speed of light?

speed of light
Light’s speed

How fast is light? Nothing on earth is known to move faster, and in my opinion, we are actually very fortunate to be able to measure it. Aside the fact that light enables us to see, I am appreciative of it even more because if it were to get any faster by any stretch, astronomers would have to build new technology to measure its speed. This speed of light is known as the cosmic speed limit and even at the age of twenty-two, I am yet to experience anything more rightfully named. Why is It so hard for us to travel at the speed of light? The reason is that as you propel an object faster and faster, its relative mass compared to when the object is at rest, increases. This means that not only do we increase the speed object; we end up increasing the object’s mass as well, eventually resulting in an infinite mass which requires an infinite amount of energy to move it.