Living on the Sun – What Would Life be like on Our Cosmic Mother?

Sun Distance Diagram

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SUN: QUICK STATS

Distance from Sun: 0 miles

Text Message to Earth: Takes about 8 min.

Mass: 330,000 x Earth

Width: 109 x Earth

Gravity: Over 300% of Earth

Length of Day: n/a

Length of Year: n/a

Average Temperature: 9,938º F

Pressure: ???

Moons: n/a

Rings: n/a

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So, you have decided to live in the solar system’s most extreme environment? Well, what would it be like, living on the Sun?

Firstly, no humans could ever inhabit the Sun, it is a star. Scalding temperatures, nuclear processes and unexpected lethal bursts make the Sun a deadly world! Yet, in our guide to life beyond Earth, it would be unjust to not cover our cosmic mother.

Therefore, use your imagination to pretend that we now have remarkable technologies. You have acquired tools to help you withstand unbelievable radiation and heat. A reinforced, floating dome-like structure will serve as your new house and keep you free of the many dangers.

Without further ado, pack your bags, load the trucks, let’s find out what it would be like, living on the Sun!

Charming Historical Value

For thousands of years, ancient civilizations worshiped your new homeland. Constructing temples, monuments, art and more, the Sun has been a god-like figure in the history of human life.

Not to mention, ancient and modern calendar systems alike are all based on your newly-chosen home. Plants, animals, foods and anything else in human life all exist courtesy of the Sun. Plus, even on cloudy days, human beings see and feel your home every day of their lives. Even people without eyesight feel its motherly warmth on their bodies.

Your new home is easily the single most iconic piece of astronomical history. If the solar system were the United States, you have selected to live in colonial Williamsburg.

Scouting Your New Neighborhood

Deciding where you will be living on the Sun is simple: really hot, or extremely hot? Dangerous, or impossibly dangerous? Three main regions make up your home – and interior, atmosphere and surface.

Anatomy of the Sun Diagram

Anatomy of the Sun

Sun’s Interior

First, the interior is made of the core, radiative zone and convective zone. Simply by the oven-like names, we can infer that the interior is not a desirable living space. Plus, the core temperature rings in around 27 million degrees! In conditions these extreme, elements are crushed into heavier elements via nuclear fusion. This process is the lifeblood of your new home, it’s the fuel that keeps the Sun alive! But, you do not want to be anywhere remotely near this process. Trust us!

Sun’s Atmosphere

Alternatively, the Sun’s atmosphere has several layers a chromosphere, photosphere and corona.

Named after the Greek word, chroma, meaning “color,” the chromosphere is the first layer. Giving off a red hue, the chromosphere is where the scorching-hot hydrogen emerges from the Sun’s interior.

Next, comes a small zone separating the lower and upper atmosphere, the photosphere. Greek for “light sphere,” the photosphere is where the Sun’s powerful energy radiates as visible light. Surprisingly, this layer is the “mild” region at a chilly 9,900º F!

Finally, the temperature leaps rapidly to a few million degrees to form the corona, Greek for “crown.” This thickest atmospheric layer is where the Sun’s solar wind is generated. But, this is not typical wind. Instead, it is a stream of plasma and radiation that flows across the entire solar system.

After examining these luxurious locales, you decide the photosphere is your dreamland! Pack your bags and load the truck!

Your Typical Day, Night and Year on the Sun

Now, you live on the actual object that all planets orbit. Therefore, your home itself is the cause of days, nights and years in the solar system. In other words, you now live on day, you live on night and you live on a year. And, other than some of your layers and regions rotating, your home has no calendar of any kind.

Instead, your new homeland simply burns its nuclear fuel until it runs out. Yes, it does have an expiration date, but you still have around 5 billion years left. Our Sun is called a main sequence star. Basically, it’s middle-aged. Still in its prime! But, more on that later! Let’s get out and do some sight-seeing.

Exploring Features and Phenomenon of the Sun

Living on the Sun Sunspot

Immediately, you notice darker portions randomly appearing right in your own photosphere. These are sunspots. At nearly 3,000 degrees cooler than their surroundings, sunspots can be a great place to take a break and chill out. Plus, they can be 31,000 miles wide, so fitting friends and family should not be an issue.

Next, you suddenly notice a gigantic tentacle extending out from your home region. Extending out for hundreds of thousands of miles, you have just witnessed your first solar prominence! However, keep your distance, as it is made of electrically-charged hydrogen and plasma. Yikes!

Finally, you need to rush back to your safe home dome! Your local news has just informed you that a coronal mass ejection is expected tonight! Randomly, your new home gathers massive amounts of pent-up energy and ejects it in a devastating explosion! Magnetically- and electrically-charged material blasts outward for millions of miles. Sure, snap some breathtaking photos, but whatever you do, stay far away! These explosions are even powerful enough to damage power and communications on Earth!

living on the sun coronal mass ejection

NASA catches a coronal mass ejection blasting out! Photo: NASA/SDO

Planning for the Future

Living on the Sun Red Giant

Depending on when you make the move, living on the Sun requires long-term planning. As mentioned previously, the Sun operates purely on nuclear fuel. However, like all things, this fuel eventually expires and runs out.

At this point, your precious home is no longer safe. In fact, it will self-destruct and violently collapse. Aside from destroying your resale value, everything around you will also evaporate.

Similar to all stars of this size, the Sun’s fuel will run out, it will expand to be several times its current size as a red giant star, and eventually leave behind a hot, small white dwarf star. Over trillions of years, the small leftover white dwarf will gradually cool down.

As your home goes “red giant” and expands, it will grow tremendously, engulfing and incinerating nearby Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars in the process! Unfortunately, your only options will be moving far out, to Jupiter or beyond. Even then, without a living star, all remaining planets will be even more cold. Plus, without sunlight, hopes for human life will be completely out of the question.

Living on the Sun Red Giant 02

Credit: NASA/SDO

So, for this main reason, you will want to either:

  1. Plan your move-in and move-out dates to fall within the next five billion years. Or…
  2. Accept the fact that living on the Sun could mean an unexpected “early retirement.”

One Final Hurrah!

living on the sun planetary nebula

Now, you understand that living on the Sun, while fascinating, yields few perks. However, no matter where you live in our solar system, the Sun provides one final gift. During its last years of life, as it collapses in on itself, the Sun becomes a planetary nebula.

 

Despite its name, a planetary nebula is not an actual planet, but instead a sphere-shaped gas bubble. But, these star-death remains provide some of the universe’s most stunning sights. NASA, Hubble and all other organizations have studied and marveled over planetary nebulae for decades.

Bottom line, living on the Sun is truly miserable, and will inevitably end in death. But, if it must end, there will be no more beautiful way to go!

For Sale!

Do you fantasize about retiring somewhere warm? Somewhere where even the “cold” regions could easily melt iron and steel? Would you be unbothered by living near the solar system’s most lethal nuclear power plant? Would you find unexpected explosions of plasma, big enough to damage satellite communication on Earth, charming? Have you been looking high and low for an affordable 5-billion-year fixed mortgage?

Well, search no more! Living on the Sun is the life for you! As the historical district of our solar system, the Sun offers sight unlike anywhere else. Your new home’s motto proudly boasts “Two Trillion Days of Sunshine!

Best of all, you’ll never have to sell. Simply sit back, and watch your homeland turn into a massive sea of colorful ionized gases and ultraviolet radiation. Simply stunning!