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The Sun is Tiny in Comparison to Some Stars.

The solar system is estimated to be more than 4.5 billion years old, at its centre is an average G-type main-sequence star or yellow dwarf star which we call the Sun.

By A B ForbesPublished 4 months ago 3 min read
Photo by Federico Respini on Unsplash.

Although our closest star the Sun is the main reason we are here, most of us give it little thought as we live out our lives on our magical planet.

The Sun is nothing special when comparing it with other stars, there are stars that are smaller but there are also stars that have unimaginable sizes.

Stephenson 2–18 is arguably the largest star known at this time. It lies 18,900 light-years from the Earth. But remember, light travels 1,080 million kilometres per hour or 9.46 trillion kilometres in a year, yes this star is very far away by our standards.

How can we visualise the size of Stephenson 2–18 when comparing it to the Sun? This gigantic star has a diameter that is 2,150 times that of the Sun.

The Sun has a diameter of 1,392,680 kilometres, so using a simple sum the diameter of Stephenson 2–18 works out to 2,994,262,000 kilometres.

When we use large numbers it becomes difficult for us to comprehend.

Maybe the next paragraphs will help in the understanding of how big this star really is.

As you probably know 8 planets orbit the Sun they are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and the farthest away planet Neptune.

Saturn Image by WikiImages from Pixabay.

Now you will have to use your imagination!

Replace the Sun with Stephenson 2-18 so it is in the same position in the solar system, that would be very bad news for all the planets, especially the five closest to the Sun and possibly the sixth planet Saturn, they would all be inside the giant star.

Light travels at almost 300,000 kilometres per second. If it was possible for light to travel the circumference of the Sun it would take 15 seconds, for light to travel the circumference of Stephenson 2–18 would take an incredible 8.7 hours.

Anything that has mass could ever reach the speed of light, it could be the reason we will never be able to leave our local area in space.

We have never heard from intelligent extraterrestrials, they too might be restricted to their own small area in space. That is if they really do exist.


The amazing speed of light.

Image credit. Melmak from Pixabay.

A short explanation of the speed of light, the maximum speed throughout the whole Universe.

Our natural satellite, the Moon lies 384,400 kilometres from the Earth; light takes just over 1 second to cover that distance.

Amazingly light would travel around the circumference of the Earth 7.5 times every second.

The distance from the Earth to our local star, the Sun, is almost 150 million kilometres; that journey for light would take 8.3 minutes.

With highly advanced telescopes, we can now see objects that are over 13 billion light-years away. It is hard for us to comprehend these vast distances.

Imagine light travelling at 1,080 million kilometres per hour for over 13 billion years. Yes, they are mind-boggling distances.

End of article.


We can only imagine what our early ancestors were thinking as they gazed up at the night sky, were they curious as to what the heavens had to hide?

Now it is very different as we have developed sophisticated telescopes and other specialised scientific instruments that are helping to reveal some of the secrets that the Universe holds.

Simple life forms were living on our planet almost 4 billion years ago, since that time billions of animal species have existed, and millions of species are still alive today.

The evolutionary path for life has been long but at last, we have arrived. Our highly developed brain has given us intelligence and curiosity, now we can try and make sense of our existence.

Come and join me.


About the Creator

A B Forbes

I hope you find some of my articles interesting.

Our highly developed brain has given us intelligence and curiosity, now with the help of sophisticated scientific instruments, we can try and make sense of the Universe and our existence.

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Comments (3)

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  • Denis Camden4 months ago

    Big Sun! Love it thanks

  • Loryne Andawey4 months ago

    Thank you for sharing this article! ❤'d and subscribed

  • As always this was fantastic. I really enjoyed reading this.

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