Size of Sun ```Name: lester e school Status: N/A Age: N/A Location: N/A Country: N/A Date: 1993 - 1999 ``` Question: The sixth graders at Lester School in Downers Grove would like to ask a question about the sun and the earth. How many times bigger is the sun compared to the earth? We are studying about why we have seasons in the temperate zones (middle latitudes). Thank you for answering our question. Replies: Both the Sun and the Earth are almost perfect spheres; both bulge very slightly at their equators. The Sun's equatorial diameter is 1,391,400 km; the Earth's equatorial diameter is 12,756 km. So the Sun's diameter is about 109 times that of the Earth. If by "size" you mean volume, then the Sun occupies about (109)^3, or over 1,295,00 times the volume of the Earth. If you want to compare them by mass, the Sun has a mass of 1.99*10^30 kg, and the Earth's mass is 5.98*10^24 kg, so the Sun is about 332,776 times as massive as the Earth. This is different from the ratio of their volumes because the Earth has a larger average density than the Sun. Whoops! Just re-read my response. I'm sure you recognized that I meant to type 1,295,000 . RC Winther Click here to return to the Astronomy Archives

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