You are now at the heart of our solar system. Sol, our sun, is a yellow dwarf star, a hot ball of glowing gases. Its gravity holds the solar system together, keeping everything from the biggest planets to the smallest particles of debris in its orbit.
Electric currents in the Sun generate a magnetic field that is carried out through the solar system by the solar wind—a stream of electrically charged gas blowing outward from the Sun in all directions. The connection and interactions between the Sun and Earth drive the seasons, ocean currents, weather, climate, radiation belts, and aurorae. Though it is special to us, there are billions of stars like our Sun scattered across the Milky Way galaxy.
Fun Fact: The Sun’s core is about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit (15 million degrees Celsius).
We will use this as our starting point, remember that this is a model. Our planets do not exist in a straight line, but for our purposes, they will be kept within our trail. We measure distances in our solar system in two ways. The first is by the number of miles/kilometers and the second is a unit known as the Astronomical unit or AU. This unit is based on the distance of the Sun from Earth. Earth is approximately 93 million miles away from the Sun or 1 AU. From here on we will use the AU as our unit.
Now let’s move on to the first planet out from the Sun, can you recall this planet’s name?