• Question: is the sun the same size as a normal star but jjust closer to earth?

    Asked by saracallaway to Davie, James P, James V, Nuala on 4 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: James Verdon

      James Verdon answered on 4 Jul 2012:

      Hi saracallaway,

      That’s exactly right. The sun is just like all the other stars in the sky, except a lot closer, so we feel it’s brightness and heat. The sun is about 150 million kilometers away from us, that’s 150,000,000. The next nearest star to us is Proxima Centauri, which is 40,000,000,000,000 km away – that’s 40 trillion km away (a trillion is a million million). So the sun is a million times closer to us than the next nearest star.

    • Photo: James Pope

      James Pope answered on 4 Jul 2012:

      Hi saracallaway,

      It still takes light from the sun 8 minutes to reach us, even though it is so close! Light from Proxima Centauri which James V mentions takes 4-5 years to reach us, because it is that far away, some stars in our Galaxy are so far away when they emitted their light towards us, the Dinosaurs were alive, these stars could explode today and we wouldn’t ever know!

    • Photo: Davie Galloway

      Davie Galloway answered on 4 Jul 2012:

      hi saracallaway,

      spot on sara … you’ve just asked and answered your own question … maybees you should be the scientists and i’ll ask the questions 🙂

    • Photo: Nuala Carson

      Nuala Carson answered on 4 Jul 2012:

      Yup saracalaway,

      You are right, it is the same size just closer to us. It is the closest star by quite a bit!