Teaching overview

Learning points

  • The Sun is made up of hydrogen and helium, which react with each other to produce heat and light.
  • The Sun is about 4.6 billion years old, and is halfway through its life.
  • The Sun is orbiting the Milky Way, and completes a circle once every 226 million years.

Curriculum keywords

  • Solar System
  • Space
  • Sun

5 things you didn't know

The Sun rotates

1. You might already know that the Earth rotates – but did you know that the Sun rotates, too? It takes roughly 27 days for it to make one full rotation.

How big is the Sun?

2. It might look small from here, but the Sun’s diameter is roughly 1.4 million kilometres – that’s about 110 times that of the Earth!

What is the Sun made of?

3.Like all stars, the Sun is mainly made up of hydrogen and helium – these elements constantly react with each other, giving out lots of heat and light and causing huge explosions on the surface.

The Sun in the Milky Way

4. The planets in our Solar System orbit the Sun, and the Sun is orbiting the Milky Way galaxy – it takes 226 millions years for it to make one full circle.

How old is the Sun?

5. At 4.6 billion years old, the Sun is currently about halfway through its life – it is predicted to expand and swallow up Mercury, Venus and even Earth in another 5 billion years!

Spark a discussion

  • Why does the Sun look so much bigger to us than other stars?
  • What does it mean when we say that the Sun and Earth both rotate?
  • Do you know the names of any other stars or constellations in the Milky Way?

Explore our resources

Complete your lesson with teaching resources on the Sun from Tigtag.

Go to Tigtag

Discover free online CPD for primary science from Reach Out CPD.

Go to Reach Out CPD