Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Size of the Sun
Name: Lester E School and Ben
Status: Other
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

How many times bigger is the Sun compared to the Earth?

The diameter of the Sun is 1,400,000 km, a little over 100 times the diameter of the Earth; the volume of the Sun is, therefore, about 100 x 100 x 100 = 1,000,000 times the volume of the Earth (since volume is proportion- al to diameter cubed). So . . . the answer depends on what you mean by "big".


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 10^3, or over 1,295,000 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.

RC Winther

Click here to return to the Astronomy Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory