[Alpha version - contains bugs that will be fixed soon] Use this interactive tool to learn more about The Solar System. Hover your cursor over a planet to view information about it; for a more detailed description, click anywhere on the planet. Information source: nasa.gov
The sun is a star, a hot ball of glowing gases at the heart of our solar system. Its influence extends far beyond the orbits of distant Neptune and Pluto. Without the sun's intense energy and heat, there would be no life on Earth. And though it is special to us, there are billions of stars like our sun scattered across the Milky Way galaxy. The Sun gives off energy as electromagnetic radiation. That includes light, infra-red energy (heat), ultraviolet light and radio waves. It also gives off a stream of particles, which reaches Earth as 'solar wind'. The source of all this energy is the reaction in the star which turns hydrogen into helium and makes huge amounts of energy.
Our Sun makes up 99.86% of the matter in the solar system. Even the giant planet Jupiter is tiny compared to the Sun (for practical reasons, the Sun's size in the simulation had been significantly scaled down).