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Lesson 01 – Our Sun Is a Star

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Read About Our Sun

Vocabulary

Read the vocabulary terms to understand the reading better.

A star is a ball of gases in space that gives off light and is held together by its own gravity; Stars are visible in the night sky as twinkling points of light.

Water vapour is water in the gas state, which is usually produced by heating water or the evaporation of water.

Mass is the amount of matter in an object; the mass of an object remains the same no matter where it is.

Blue stars are very bright stars that burn the hottest of all stars and use their fuel up quickly; blue stars have at least three times the mass of the Sun.

Red stars are dying stars that have used up almost all of their fuel and that have the coolest temperatures of all stars.

White dwarf stars are very old dying stars that no longer produce energy; they are cooler than blue stars, and are often hotter and much larger than the Sun.

Yellow dwarfs are stars that use their energy very slowly so they live a very long time; they have a much lower mass than the Sun.

Dwarf stars are any stars that have an average or small size, brightness, and mass; some dwarf stars are dying stars.

Our Sun Is a Star

Earth circles around the Sun. The Sun is a star and we could not live without it. The Sun is a ball of burning gas that gives us light and heat. The light makes plants grow, which provides us with food and with oxygen to breathe. The Sun’s heat gives us rain by warming oceans and lakes. When that happens, some of the water evaporates into water vapour, which floats into the sky. When the water vapour rises high enough, it hits cooler air and condenses, and eventually falls as rain.

How big is the Sun? If the Sun were a hollow ball, one million Earths would fit inside it.

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The Sun has 333 000 times the mass of Earth.

Other Stars

Like the Sun, all stars are balls of burning gas. But stars are not all the same size and colour. Stars can be 40 times as large as our Sun, or almost as small as Earth. Blue stars are very hot, while red stars are much cooler. In between are white and yellow stars. Our Sun is known as a yellow dwarf star.

The Sun seems larger than other stars in the sky because it is closer to us than any other star. Some stars are so far away that their light takes more than 1000 years to reach Earth.

To learn more about our Sun, watch the video by SciShow Kids on Youtube.

Now Show What You Know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.