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Why doesn’t the sun revolve instead of all the planets?

Why doesn’t the sun revolve instead of all the planets?
Emily Stone from Kent (Age 5-14)

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One Response

  1. Hi Young Scientist :).
    The Sun does revolve, or rotate about an imaginary centre line from top to bottom, or ‘the axis’ as this is called. However, the Sun turns very slowly in comparison to the planets (including Earth), which orbit in our solar system around our central ‘star’. The Sun is very, very much bigger than everything else and contains far more material than everything else in our solar system so dominates the twirling pattern that exists. A giant swinging a child as he turns himself gives an impression of how one planet orbits a turning Sun but to improve the comparison you need to imagine that the child is continuously spinning around a personal ‘axis’ throughout the ‘orbit’ encircling the giant. A big picture to imagine but it may be helpful. For comparison, whilst a person hovering above Earth’s equator would see about 13% of the planet’s diameter pass beneath them per hour, if a super-insulated astronaut could hover (in the 6000 degree heat) above the Sun’s equator, less than 2% of that star’s diameter would pass per hour. As I expect that you knpw, we must never ever look directly at the Sun! So again, just in your imagination.
    I hope this helps to give some idea of how slowly the Sun turns or revolves.
    Good Luck,
    Rockno3.

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