Why does the Sun look small?

Why does the Sun look small?

We answer your questions!

Milly, a Planet Science fan, emailed this question:

"Why is it that when we are on earth the sun looks way smaller than the earth and if the sun is really far away how can we on earth still see it?"

Milly, we're here to help!

Why does the Sun look smaller than the Earth?

Think about looking at a mountain on the horizon. The mountain looks much smaller than your house. But get up close and it turns out the mountain is massive!

That's like the Sun. It looks small to us because it's so far away from us. If you got close to it, you would see that it is enormous!

Sun_120253731

The Sun looks small because it's far away

If the Sun is so far away, why can we still see it?

Even though the Sun is far away, we can see it because it is so massive. It is 330,000 times heavier than the Earth.

Think about the mountain on the horizon again. We can see that because it is so big. If there was something small on the horizon, like an ant, you wouldn't be able to see it.

The Sun is also very bright. It is a type of star. Stars produce a lot of energy, which makes them shine.

The Sun looks bigger and brighter than any other star because it is closer to Earth. Its brightness means that we can see it, even though it is far away.

We can only see the Sun when we are on the side of the Earth that faces the Sun. When we face away from the Sun, it is night time.

Remember not to look directly at the Sun.

 

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