You might already know that the sun is a star! It’s just one that is close enough to the earth to give us lots of light and warmth.
The power of sunlight is a big part of the cycle of life.
Almost all living things need sunlight to grow.
Plants use the sunlight to help them make sugars from the air they breathe through their leaves, and from water. This sugar is then used by the plant to grow.
This process is called photosynthesis and is the most important process on the planet.
People eat all sorts of things plants grow, such as leaves, seeds, fruit, roots, nuts and flowers.
The sun’s light makes us all happier and healthier!
Eating plants that grow in the sun’s light, like fruits and vegetables, helps you get healthier!
Being in the sunshine also helps your body produce Vitamin D. That helps your bones and body grow strong and healthy. So, just like a plant, you need sunshine to grow!
Try this experiment:
Find a sunny place where plant life is growing and find a way to block the sunlight for a few days.
Try blocking the sunlight by covering it up with a garden hose or towel (for example).
After a few days uncover the plants. What do you notice?
FUN IN THE SUN!
You can “catch” sunlight with mirrors, and other items that reflect light such as metal or aluminum, and even liquids!
FUN FACTS ABOUT THE SUN
• The Sun is a star found at the center of our Solar System.
• The Sun is around 865,000 miles wide, about 110 times wider than the Earth.
• Light from the Sun reaches Earth in around 8 minutes.
• The temperature on the surface of the sun is around 9941 degrees Fahrenheit, so pack plenty of sunscreen if you plan on visiting (remember that Sun is about 100 million miles from the Earth).
• A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth.
• The sun has produced energy for billions of years. The sun’s rays that reach the earth is solar energy. It can be changed into heat and electricity.
• Pine tree needles need just the right amount of sunlight for the tree to produce food. The triangle shape of the tree is an adaptation that allows more needles to “see” the sun.
• Sunlight has an ancient history of healing. Prehistoric tribes and entire civilizations worshipped the sun for its healing properties.
• For example, Ancient Egyptians had a sun god called Ra while in Aztec mythology there is a sun god named Tonatiuh.
• Millions of years ago, the sun’s energy helped prehistoric plants to grow. When we burn coal we are reusing that ancient sun energy, because coal is made from prehistoric trees.
• The sun is so bright that looking directly at it can damage your eyes. Don’t do that! Wearing sunglasses or a cap is a good idea on a sunny day.