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Our Amazing Sun


Welcome boys and girls, to an exciting journey to the sun. Get ready to navigate your way through space on your mission to determine the many characteristics of the sun. Towards the end of your journey, you will discover that you have become a solar expert, with the newly acquired powers of the sun's energy and facts. So get ready to view your task and prepare for blast off.




Materials Needed: A pencil, note pad, and an evaluation handout.

Your task is to use your available resources to determine :

10.What is the temperature of the sun at the core and at the outer surface?
9. What is the distance from the earth to the sun?
8. What is the mass and diameter of the sun?
7. What is the sun made of and what is its main type of energy?
6 How old is the sun?
5. What stage of the life cycle of a star is our sun in?
4. Whether you believe that humans will be able to travel to the sun.
3. What is the difference between the corona, sun spots, and solar flares?
2. Does the movement of the sun or the movement of the earth mostly
affect the occurrence of seasons?
1. Approximately how many more years does the sun have left in its life cycle?

Graphics provided by





Visit each of these web sites to complete your task in answering the countdown questions.

Virtual Solar System An excellent web site to discover fun facts about the mass, diameter, and temperatures of the sun.

Earth, Sun, and Moon Score points as you avoid asteroids and travel to the Sun. You will view animation and graphics that will easily explain the difference between sunspots, sun flares, and the corona. You will also learn about nuclear fusion and the number of years that are left in the sun's life cycle. Later, by traveling to the earth, you will determine why seasons occur.

How far away is the sun? View other students' questions about the sun, including how many km the sun is away from the earth. Ask Yahooligans Earl a sun question of your own.

Brain Pop Sun Watch a movie about our sun. Gain insight into a host of characteristics that make our sun unique.

Stars Determine what stars are made of and what makes them die.

Boys and girls, your journey is about over. It is now time to evaluate your readiness to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere.




Please answer the following questions:

(Each numbered question is worth a total of ten points)

1. How far is the sun from the earth?
2. What is the temperature of the core of the sun? Is this the same temperature of the corona?
3. How much larger is the mass of the sun than the earth?
4. What is the distance, in miles, from one side of the sun, through the core, to the other side of the sun? (Clue: We call this measurement a diameter.)
5. How old is the sun?
6. Define solar flares and sun spots.
7. What is nuclear fusion?

8. The sun has about 6,000,000 years left in its life cycle?

9.The tilting and revolution of the earth towards the sun causes seasons to occur?

10.Our sun is currently the size of a red giant?

Boys and Girls! You have entered the earth's atmosphere safely. Buckle up and prepare for a safe landing. It is now time to conclude your mission.





You have been rewarded with a vast amount of new solar knowledge and skills.
.....and because knowledge is power.....
Please remember to use your power wisely.

Follow-Up Activity

After the webquest activity, you should write a one page persuasive paper about whether you believe that humans will one day be able to travel to the sun. You should include at least six characteristics about the sun in your papers. These characteristics should support your opinions as mentioned in your papers. During read aloud time, youmay choose to share your papers in class.


These pages were developed through TeacherTECH, the teacher professional development component of GirlTECH, which is sponsored by the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education (CEEE) and made possible by support from the National Science Foundation and Rice University.

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Updated: Friday, July 7, 2006 3:18 PM