The Sun

Ratings: 4.57/10 from 14 users.


The SunApproximately 5 billion years old and just under 333,000 times the mass of Earth, discover the enchanting story of the Sun, the heart of our solar system and the driving force of life on Earth. The Sun is by far the brightest object in the sky. It's so bright that during the day its light drowns out virtually everything else in space. The Sun is so powerful that even from the Earth, its light can damage your eyesight. So never look at the Sun directly or through a telescope.

The best time to appreciate the majesty of the Sun from the Earth is during a solar eclipse. Then the Moon passes in front of the Sun and so it temporarily disappears from the sky. Life on Earth is totally dependent on the the energy it receives from the Sun.

This energy is produced when hydrogen atoms inside the Sun fuse to form helium. The Sun consumes four million tons of hydrogen every second. Even so, it's so vast that our star has enough fuel to keep it shining for another five billion years. The Sun's energy output is estimated to be 386 billion, billion megawatts. So in 15 minutes our Sun radiates as much energy as mankind consumes in all forms, during an entire year.

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23 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Tyne

    Awesome video

  2. Bojan

    Our sun is my favorite :)

  3. Achems Razor

    I love our Sun also, even thou it is a small class 4 star. The largest star to date is LBV 1806-20 it is 150 times the mass of our Sun. It shines 40 million times brighter than our Sun. The second is the pistol star at 6 million times brighter.

  4. Tony

    If I was religious, I'd pray to the sun. Seems to me to few people realize just how insignificant humans are.

  5. Charles B.

    Wow! Awesome! A "10" from me. I've know for a long time that I get S.A.D. in the winter (seasonal affected disorder) so I can't wait for my vacation, and then to the tropics I go for 2 months. No computer; no documentaries; lots of sun! :-)

  6. Forrest W

    seen this 3X now just gets better and the amazing footage and layman science is top 10 for me also

  7. orin

    this video was superb...

  8. Yavanna

    Woot was about to submit this doc for upload and here it is - All must bow before the mighty V!

  9. BBC

    Great doc, the desert is a good place for all those ugly dishes. i still remember when solar power calculators came out. what an invention. hahaha

  10. Laurence


  11. JK

    No wonder why many ancient civilizations adore the sun.

  12. bobthebboy

    if sun spots are the closest part to the sun surface then how come their black this seems to indicate that the surface is cooler than the than the out flame that covers it,its disappointing when theory is presented as fact the argument that the sun is an ionised ball of plasma electrically charge by galactic core is something they didnt even mention this theory also is very interesting and and can be explained with scientific principals that are equally convincing

  13. Icculus574

    Sunspots aren't really black, they're still blindingly bright. It just looks black in comparison to the area around it because it's slightly cooler.

    The reason it's cooler is because the magnetic field inside a sunspot is so strong that it pushes on the gas around the spot. Since the gas inside the spot can expand to fill that area without being required to exert as much pressure to achieve equilibrium, it cools.

    If you're ignorant on a subject, don't try to be condescending towards people who know far more about it than you do. Ask about it and try to learn.

  14. bobthebboy

    post reply but realised i should have posted as a reply here so put this in so you receive notice of my reply

  15. Icculus574

    I apologize if I misinterpreted your intended tone, but saying, "its disappointing when theory is presented as fact" comes across as extremely condescending in this situation -- not to mention that such a statement illustrates a gross misunderstanding of what the scientific definition of 'theory' is.

    They didn't bother mentioning it for a number of reasons. The problem is that plasma cosmology, as far as I've been able to research from reading and hearing from proponents, doesn't have a solid framework. It can sound very professional, but the physics and astronomy tend to be a bit 'wishy-washy'; by that I mean there are very few mathematical predictions (with many equations actually being applied incorrectly) and terminology is often jumbled together and confused. That being said, I will try my best to address the issues you specifically posited in your post.

    The first major point is that fusion does not take place on the surface. Fusion takes place in the core. There is simply not enough heat and pressure to power fusion on the surface of the sun. The sun does have strong and extremely complex electromagnetic fields, but it’s because of the complex fluid-like nature of the plasma that it is comprised of.

    Secondly, the solar cycle can still be directly tied to the amount of fusion going on inside of the core. Energy is released in a fusion reaction which can create a pulsing effect. However, this effect would not be apparent in the magnitude of visible light output changing on the surface because it takes between 10,000 and 200,000 years for a photon (due to its electrical properties) to make it to the surface so the increase and decrease in light emission would be smoothed out whereas the neutrinos (due to being electrically neutral) would have a far easier time escaping so they would not share such a gradient.

    As for the rest of your post, you’ve made broad statements without any true specifics and spent the other half of the post committing ad verecundiam(since these quotes don’t actually provide any value and serve only to name drop). Just because a prominent scientist disagrees with consensus, doesn’t mean his or her beliefs should be given more weight than those who are not as famous. Science, as an overall trend, gives credit for data, not ego; take a look at Einstein and quantum mechanics.

    You can try to deflect by saying you don’t subscribe to any theory, but while that can be appropriate in some cases, in others it's either disingenuous or an utter waste of time. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt with my response despite the fact that you came on to comment on this documentary with the expressed intent of promoting such a hypothesis. However, there is a reason that such ideas are ignored by the mainstream and it’s not due to a giant conspiracy by ‘the man’ to keep this under wraps.

    On a final note, I'm sorry I took so long to reply. I've been very busy and wanted to get a chance to read the rebuttal you mentioned of Tim Thompson as well as the site that the rebuttal was directed at. The rebuttal was a joke. For instance, it states that we have never created fusion in a laboratory. We first successfully performed fusion in a lab about 80 years ago. The problem with synthetic fusion generation is not a matter of nuclear physics, it's a matter of being able to create a container to hold the reaction in for any prolonged period of time since we don't have the luxury of using a massive gravity well like a star does.

  16. bobthebboy

    thanks for reply and apology. id just like to say i didn't post my comment to promote anything, but to let people know their is more than one view to the mechanics of the suns and unless we are open to other possibilities with all things in our understanding of the universe and our place within it then we may shut ourself off to learning something new or evolving the understandings that we already have. as you know we have not worked it all out and if we had then we would not have these divisions that we have within in the scientific community. i dont think it a conspiracy i just think were still learning

  17. Icculus574

    We can be open to other possibilities without chasing every hypothesis no matter how broken or ill-defined. The vast majority of the standard model is no more divisive in physics than evolution is in biology. You could argue that a handful of scientists in the field might not subscribe to it, but saying that there are divisions in the scientific community is really misleading.

    Could we be wrong about evolution or the standard model? Sure, but it's far more likely that we are right in the same way Newton was right about gravity. It's almost certain that the details and our understanding of the implications will evolve (no pun intended), but not to the point where we literally throw out everything we know and embrace something entirely different as the hypothesis you linked to would propose. This is especially true when the hypothesis is weak in predictive ability, structural foundation, and logical and mathematical analysis.

  18. Greg Mattson


    pretty cool documentary, until it wandered into the solar power bit. I was much more interested to hear about what happens to our power stations, transformers, power lines, etc, when a huge CME like the 'carrington event' occurs, and how hardened we are against it. In 1859 it caused telegraph stations to catch fires, and telegraphs to signal even when the equipment is turned off.

    Now.. who knows how bad it would get.

  19. phillip wong

    I like the pictures, video clips of the sun 's surface. Beautiful.

  20. Jeff S

    This documentary has some nice pictures but all in all it is a pretty terrible effort. Many of the explanations given are half-baked, they have some incredibly unscientific statements that for some reason were included (the architect talking about human evolution and the native american chief talking about how volcanoes are the earth telling us its tired!).


  21. winston

    The sun is what men have worshiped since time immemorial.And for good reason; without the sun crops would not grow and man would continue to be at the mercy of nighttime predators. The 'Son of Man' is indeed a direct descendant of the sun of man. The whole of Christian iconography was in fact originally completely based on astronomical phenomena. The rebirth of the sun of god (man) is what men made offerings and sacrifices for. From the ancient near east and Egypt to the Maya men have all had this same concern in mind and all of their myths are based on the rebirth of the sun. For origins of the Christian tradition, check out the book THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING SON OF MAN by Robert Price. It goes over the solar origins of much of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

  22. CapnCanard

    Winston, nice post. December 21th is the shortest day of the year and the day doesn't begin to get longer until the 25th. This is why the sun is said to be "born" on December 25th as the sun seems to grow as days get longer in the northern latitudes. Almost all cultures celebrated this, but then evil Christianity co-opted and erased those traditional interpretations and beliefs, presumably because such beliefs are based on observation and questioning. Instead of relying on what the Religious Authoritarians demand of followers. i.e. faith, or unquestioning belief. In the traditional story the sun then reaches middle age on June 21 for the summer solstice. and as days get shorter as old man winter creeps up in and then a new year is born again. Christianity has always been fairy tale. I would recommend the work of an academic with the pen name of Archarya S. aka D.M. Murdock. The religious stories are destroyed by all those inconvenient facts.

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