The sun is the largest and most massive object in the solar system, although it is only a medium-sized star in the Milky Way galaxy, which contains hundreds of billions of stars.

Diameter and Circumference of the Sun

How big is the Sun
Image: @Nasa

The sun is almost an ideal sphere. Only 6.2 miles separate the equatorial and polar diameters (10 km). The sun’s average radius is 432,450 miles (696,000 kilometers), resulting in an 864,938-mile diameter (1.392 million km). On the face of the sun, you could line up 109 Earths. The circumference of the sun measures approximately 2,713,406 miles (4,366,813 km).

The sun may be the brightest star in the sky, yet it pales in comparison to the other stars. Betelgeuse, a crimson behemoth, is 700 times bigger and 14,000 times brighter than the sun.

“We’ve discovered stars with 100 times the diameter of our sun. Those stars are truly massive “According to NASA’s SpacePlace website. “We’ve also seen stars as small as a tenth of the size of our sun.”

If the sun were hollow, it would take one million Earths to fill it, according to NASA’s solar scientist C. Alex Young.

It’s possible that the sun is bigger than previously assumed. Engineer and solar eclipse researcher Xavier Jubier produces detailed models of solar and lunar eclipses to determine where the moon’s shadow will fall during the eclipse. When he compared actual images and historical observations to the models, he discovered that precise eclipse shapes were only possible if the sun’s radius was increased by a few hundred kilometers.

Even NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and measurements of the inner planets across the sun’s face don’t get the star’s radius as precise as it should be.

Volume and Mass of the Sun

The sun’s overall volume is 1.4 x 1027 cubic meters. The sun could hold about 1.3 million Earths. The sun has a mass of 1.989 x 1030 kg, which is around 333,000 times that of the Earth. Because the sun makes up 99.8% of the mass of the solar system, astronomers Imke de Pater and Jack J. Lissauer, authors of the textbook “Planetary Sciences,” refer to it as “the sun plus some debris.”

The sun’s weight, on the other hand, varies. The solar wind has moved particles and mass away from the star over time. The sun loses an average of 1.5 million tons of material each second to the solar wind, according to” Bad Astronomer” Phil Plait.

Meanwhile, mass is transformed into energy in the star’s core. Plait claims that the star’s powerhouse turns more than 4 million tons of solar material into electricity every second.

Plait calculated that the sun had lost a total of 1024 tons of material over its 4.5-billion-year existence, which is more than 100 times the mass of the Earth. While this may appear to be a large amount, it only accounts for around 0.05 percent of the star’s total mass.

How Many Earths Can Fit in the Sun?

The sun is massive enough to accommodate 1.3 million Earths inside. Do you want to double-check our math? The sun has a volume of 1.41 x 1018 km3, while the Earth has a volume of 1.08 x 1012 km3. When the volume of the sun is divided by the volume of the Earth, approximately 1.3 million Earths can fit inside the sun. This, however, presupposes that the Earths are squeezed close with no empty space between them. Because of the wasted space in between the spheres, scientists estimate that only roughly 960,000 people could fit if the Earths kept their spherical shape.

Other Comparison

To put that into perspective, the Earth’s mass is 5.9 quadrillion kilograms. But what about the other stars? Jupiter, our Solar System’s most massive planet, has a diameter of roughly 142.984 km / 88.846 mi at the equator and around 133.708 km / 83.082 mi at the poles. It has a radius of 69.911 kilometers (43.440 miles) and a mass of 318 Earth masses. Jupiter has the capacity to hold 1.300 Earths.

At first sight, that may appear outstanding; but, consider the following. The Sun could fit 1,000 Jupiters inside it. Let’s take a look at Mercury, our Solar System’s tiniest planet.

Mercury has only 0.055 Earth masses and has a diameter of 4.879 km / 3.032 mi, a radius of 2.439 km / 1.516 mi, and a radius of 2.439 km / 1.516 mi. To fit within the Sun, more than 21.2 million Mercury-sized planets would be required. With that in mind, what is bigger than the Sun?

Is the Sun Getting Bigger?

Because it continues to burn hydrogen into helium at its core, the Sun is becoming both bigger and hotter. As the Sun’s core heats up, it begins to compress, causing the Sun’s outer layers to expand.

This is a very natural process that should not be feared. All stars go through this process from the moment they are born, and our Sun has expanded by around 20% since its formation, in the best-case scenario.

Our Sun will become a red giant star in the not-too-distant future. This will happen in around 5 billion years, when the Sun begins to consume helium. Our Sun will then expand to several times its current size, engulfing the planets Mercury, Venus, and even Earth.

What is Bigger than the Sun?

The Sun may appear to be enormous, yet there are billions of things in the Universe that are much larger. Consider this: under the best-case scenario, our Sun is a star of average size.

There are stars that are hundreds to thousands of times bigger than our Sun out there. Giant stars, supergiant stars, and hypergiant stars are all terms used to describe these stars.

Let’s take a look at VY Canis Majoris, one of the most well-known massive stars. VY Canis Majoris has a solar radius of 1,300 to 1,540 times that of our Sun, implying that its radius is at least 1,300 times that of our Sun.

KY Cygni, another star, has a radius of between 1,420 and 2,850 times that of our Sun. UY Scuti has a solar radius of 755 times that of the Sun, while WHO G64 has a radius of 1,504 to 1,730 times that of the Sun.

Mu Cephei has a radius of roughly 1,650 times that of the Sun, while RW Cephei has a radius of 1,535 times that of the Sun. Westerlund 1-26 has a radius of 1,530 to 2,550 times that of the Sun, while V 354 Cephei has a radius of 1,520 times that of the Sun.

As you can see, there are many stars out there that are several times the size of our Sun. It’s only a matter of time before we designate our Sun as being smaller than usual.

What is the size of Betelgeuse in comparison to the Sun?

Betelgeuse, like the other stars described above, is one of the largest stars we know of in our Universe. This supergiant red star has a radius of between 950 and 1,200 solar radii, or 95.000 percent to 120.000 percent that of our Sun. More than 8 billion Suns might easily fit inside Betelgeuse.