Facts About the Biggest Star in our Solar System

The sun is the star at the centre of our universe. Worshipped by many civilisations and feared by most, it is a giver of life but could also be the thing that destroys all life as we know it.

With that in mind, here are some scary, shocking, and breath-taking statistics about the biggest star in our solar system..

Sun Worship

Many early civilisations worshipped the sun and created stories about its origin and power. To the Greeks, it was Helios or Apollo, gods tasked with ensuring this big ball of light rose every morning and fell at night. To the Aztecs, it was a little more ominous. Their sun gods, Tezcatlipoca and Huitzilopochtli “demanded” human sacrifices, lest the sun stop rising.

The sun was also important to the early Japanese, who saw it as a supreme Goddess that ruled the world. Remnants of this devotion remain to this day in the Japanese flag.

The Sun will Consume the Earth

The sun will one day burn through all its hydrogen and begin burning helium, at which point it will expand, consuming several planets, including the Earth. It will become what is known as a Red Giant Star, after which it will collapse, retaining its mass but losing its volume and shrinking to the size of the Earth.

The good news is that this won’t happen for millions of years, so the human race has plenty of time to plot an escape. 

What’s in a Word?

The English language is a fascinating mixture of words borrowed from other languages and extracted from myths and legends, and the solar system holds some of the most intriguing etymologies. In fact, “Solar System” comes from “Sol”, which is another word for “Sun” and comes from the Ancient Roman god of the sun.

“Sun” comes from “Sunne”, an old-English word of Germanic descent whereas “Helium”, one of its main components, comes from “Helios”, the Greek god of the sun.

The Scale

It’s hard to imagine just how big the sun is, because we don’t have a lot of reference. We can barely imagine how big the Earth is, so anything bigger than that is mind boggling. But to give you an idea, the sun accounts for 99.8% of the mass of the solar system (not to be confused with volume) and at over 1.4 million kilometres, it has a diameter that is more than 100 times greater than Earth.

You could fit over 1 million Earths into 1 sun, making our home planet an insignificant speck when compared to this monstrous light source. The sun is also nearly a complete sphere, with a difference of just 10km when comparing the diameters of the poles and equator. 

An Impressive Gift

If you can’t wrap your head around the sheer scale of the sun or the impressive, mind-boggling stats discussed above, then look to the stars instead and pick up one of our Buy-a-Star gift packages. These are much smaller but just as impressive, and we promise they won’t blow up in a few years and threaten the existence of life as we know it!

Amazing Facts About Christmas

Christmas is the biggest holiday of the year, a time when kids get excited, parents despair, and everyone eats and drinks way more than they should. But this season is about much more than gifts, overindulgence, and family, as these amazing Christmas facts prove:

Jingle Bells

Although the song “Jingle Bells” has become synonymous with the Christmas season, it was initially written for Thanksgiving. The song that became the first to be played in space, was penned to celebrate the Medford Sleigh Races (ergo “one horse open sleigh”) in 1857. It just so happened that the lyrics also fit perfectly with Christmas.

Turkey for the Few

Turkey for Christmas dinner may be a big deal in North America and the UK, but there are some more unusual choices elsewhere. In Japan, they tuck into a family feast of KFC; in many eastern European countries, fish is the dish of the day.

Keeping the Christ in Christmas

Many Christians complain that “Xmas” takes the “Christ out of Christmas” and is an overused, over-simplified and even sacrilegious way of expressing the season.

However, in the Greek alphabet, “X” is the first letter in the word “Christ” and is often Anglicised as “Chi”, so it means the same thing. It’s just a fun and relevant way of abbreviating the word.

Christmas in London

The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square, London, is one of the most famous in the world and actually comes from Norway. The city of Oslo, Norway, donates the tree to London every year to thank them for their help during the Second World War.

Breaking Up

It’s time to finish on a sad note, because two weeks before Christmas is the most popular time for couples to breakup. There is a myth that suggests Valentine’s Day ends more relationships than any other day, but the entire summer months actually do more damage than the run-up to this romantic holiday and Christmas is the biggest offender of all.

Family arguments, too much time spent indoors—there are many reasons Christmas is at fault for so many breakups. To prevent these complications in your own relationship, show your partner you truly love them with an extraordinarily unique gift, such as our Buy a Star package.

Show them your love is as eternal as the stars, right before you apologise for all the arguments and the offensive things you said about their parents!

The Stages in a Star’s Life

We all know and have seen stars, but do we stop to think what they really are? Stars are large balls of plasma that can produce light and heat in the area around them. While they come in a variety of different masses and forms, they all follow the same basic seven-stage life cycle, where they start as a gas cloud and end as a star remnant. But don’t worry – this is a process that takes millions of years, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy them if you’ve bought and named one as a gift for yourself, a family member, friend or colleague.

stages in a star's life

Giant Molecular Cloud

A star begins life as a large cloud of gas. The temperature inside the cloud is low enough for molecules to form. Some of the molecules light up and allow astronomers to see them in space. The Orion Cloud Complex in the Orion system is an example of a star in this stage of life.

Protostar

As the gas particles in the molecular cloud run into each other, heat energy is created. Because Protostars are warmer than other material in the molecule cloud, these formations can be seen with infrared vision.

T-Tauri

In the T-Tauri stage, the young star will begin to produce strong winds, pushing away the surrounding gas and molecules. This allows the forming star to become visible for the first time, without the help of other devices.

Main Sequence Star

When the young star reaches hydrostatic equilibrium, it gets a solid shape. The star then becomes a Main Sequence Star. Stars spend 90 percent of their life in this stage like our sun.

Giant

Once all of the hydrogen in the star’s core is converted to helium, the core will collapse on itself, causing the star to expand. As it expands, it will be classified as a Subgiant, then a Red Giant.

Core Fusion

After expanding, the star may become large enough to begin fusing the helium molecules in its core. Once this process ends, the core shrinks, and the star will repeat Step 5 again. Eventually, the iron will cause an explosion in the core of the star and lead to a Supernova explosion.

Supernova

After the supernova explosion, the exploded core of the star will be visible and is referred to as a White Dwarf. If the star isn’t that large, it will simply become a planetary Nebula.

After a star reaches the stage when it becomes visible with the naked eye, it joins the Online Star Registry and can be gifted with a certificate to someone for a special occasion. You can even name it and get proof of authenticity with your selected name being included in the registry. And with more and more stars discovered each year and new ones forming all the time – there is virtually an unlimited number of starry delights to choose from if you’re looking for a special gift.

A Sparkling Christmas Proposal

Christmas is the most popular time of year to propose, but for the person popping the question it can be a nerve-wracking business – especially when faced with choosing the perfect gift to accompany that sparkling ring.

These days, there is no need to spend a fortune on a ring or come up with some outrageously elaborate proposal to impress your sweetheart. It’s all about the message you’re trying to communicate and the meaning behind your gesture.

A Sparkling Christmas Proposal

But whether you decide to go with an unconventional ring style with smaller stones like an eternity ring or the evergreen large centrepiece dazzler, we’ve got just the right gift to accompany it. A personalized certificate for naming a star after your loved one! You can register your own shining star in the sky as a unique, everlasting gift to commemorate this special occasion. Now, every time your betrothed looks up – they’ll feel special and loved, knowing that out of the hundreds of thousands twinkles in the sky, one is shining bright just for them. What can be a better way to show you care and mark the moment of your engagement?

Personalize your star by choosing a constellation, star name, and star date. Registering a personalized star is a great way to commemorate your engagement this Christmas. And the best part is – it goes perfectly with your proposal. Even if you’re on a tight budget and have opted for a smaller ring in size or a more modest stone, naming a star is an affordable yet very personal and meaningful way of adding a bit of ‘sparkle’ to the occasion. And it won’t break the bank!

If you want to impress, this is a gift that will surely be well received. Naming a star is something that’s unique but also will never go out of style. It’s both endearing a bit unusual, which makes it all the more effective and memorable. The perfect way to make your loved one’s Christmas a truly magical time!