All About the Sun

Contributor: Hannah Brooks. Lesson ID: 12433

You can't look directly at the sun, but you can look at this amazing ball of fire in this lesson. What is sunburn? Can the sun burn anything else? Shed light on the sun here!


Space Science and Astronomy

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Have you ever had a sunburn?

While it can really hurt and is dangerous for your skin, it can also be funny. Watch the video below to see a few examples!

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  • What exactly causes sunburn?

If you have experienced sunburn, you already know that the sun is pretty powerful!

Sunburn is actually a burn caused by the sun's ultraviolet rays. Although we cannot see UV rays, they are strong enough to burn skin, permanently damage eyes, and even lighten your hair.

Yet, we are so far from the sun that it takes eight-and-a-half minutes for the light leaving the sun to reach the earth. Imagine how quickly some of us would burn if we were any closer!


Our sun is a star, made up of hot gasses, that sits at the center of the solar system.

All the planets, including the earth, revolve around the sun in an elliptical pattern. Elliptical means moving in an oval pattern.

solar system

  • So, what gives the sun such power?

Well, a process called nuclear fusion is constantly occurring on the surface of the sun.

Nuclear fusion occurs when molecules are pushed together. Think about taking two balls of play dough and forcefully combining them.

pushed together

Nuclear fusion on the sun involves the elements of hydrogen and helium. Tiny hydrogen atoms are combined to form helium. Helium is larger than hydrogen.

hydrogen and helium

When helium is created, energy is released on the sun's surface. It is over 18 million degrees Fahrenheit in the core of the sun, where nuclear fusion is occurring!

  • Can you even imagine a temperature that high?


Our sun provides us with the light and energy necessary for sustaining life on the earth. Without the sun, plants would not be able to eat, and humans would freeze to death.

We rely on our sun to provide valuable energy.

The sun's energy starts with nuclear fusion, or creating larger substances from smaller ones. This process helps keep the temperature of the sun high and allows the sun to release energy into the solar system.

In the Got It? section, study the features of the sun by creating a foldable.

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