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A Complete Guide to the Solar System and the Night Sky
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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 7:43  
clear_day Transit: 11:47  
SunsetSet: 15:52 south
sunny DaytimeWhat's Visible Now?
Major Bodies » 

The Sun

Altitude: 16.0°   Azimuth: 190.2°   Direction: South

The Sun is the star at the center of the solar system and is by far the largest object in it. It has a diameter of about 1.39 million kilometers and a mass of approximately 1.99 x 10^30 kilograms, accounting for about 99.86% of the total mass of the solar system. The Sun is a nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma, with internal convective motion that generates its magnetic field. The temperature at the Sun's core is about 15 million degrees Celsius, where nuclear fusion occurs, releasing energy in the form of electromagnetic waves and heat. This energy is radiated outwards, and it takes about 8 minutes and 20 seconds for it to reach Earth, which is about 149.6 million kilometers away. The Sun rotates on its axis, completing one rotation in about 25.4 Earth days near the equator and about 34 Earth days near the poles. The Sun is classified as a G-type main-sequence star, with a lifespan of about 10 billion years, and it has a complex system of magnetic activity that produces sunspots, flares, and coronal mass ejections that can affect Earth's space environment. The Sun has been studied extensively by a variety of telescopes and spacecraft, including the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and the Parker Solar Probe.

The Sun is currently in the constellation of Ophiucus.

The current Right Ascension of The Sun is 16h 32m 15s and the Declination is -21° 54’ 27” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current magnitude of The Sun is -26.77 (JPL).

16h 32m 15s
-21° 54’ 27”

Today's rise, transit and set times of The Sun from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 111.9°
Max altitude: 16.6°
Azimuth: 248.1°
  • Sun is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Right now it is placed in the South direction at an altitude of 16° above the horizon.
  • Go to interactive sky chart

If you need to access this information frequently for your observations, you can create a simple customized Quick Access page, so that you can easily bookmark it in your browser favorites or add a shortcut to your mobile phones' home screen.

Available Resources

Today Sunspots Activity

Here is a recent image of the Sun's surface showing the current sunspot activity:

The Sun Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide The Sun finder charts showing where the object is right now in the sky with respect to the brightest stars. The first finder chart has a field of view of 50 degrees, while the second one has a field of view of 10 degrees. Click on each finder chart to access a full screen interactive Online Planetarium.

Finder chart of Sun in Ophiucus on December,02 2023
Map showing The Sun in Ophiucus on December, 02 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Finder chart of Sun
Map showing The Sun in Ophiucus on December, 02 2023
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

Higher precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where The Sun is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

RA: 16h 32m 15s
Dec: -21° 54’ 27”
Deep sky finder chart for The Sun
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is The Sun?, a page that provides all the information needed to find The Sun in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

The Sun Distance from Earth

The distance of The Sun from Earth is currently 147,495,532 kilometers, equivalent to 0.985947 Astronomical Units. Light takes 8 minutes and 11.9921 seconds to travel from The Sun and arrive to us.

8 minutes and 11.9921 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of The Sun from Earth as a function of time. In the chart the distance data is measured in Astronomical Units and sampled with an interval of 1 day.

Chart of the distance of The Sun from Earth in Astronomical Units (au)

The value of the reported distance might be somewhat inaccurate around the times of closest approach for objects passing extremely close to Earth. The value of the distance of Sun from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest Approach of The Sun to Earth

Between 1 January 1600 and 30 December 2499, the closest approach of The Sun to Earth happens on Tue Dec 27 1605 at a distance of 0.983059 Astronomical Units, or 147,063,549 kilometers:

Tue Dec 27 1605

NOTE: values for the closest approach are computed with a sampling interval of 1 day.

The Sun Brightness and Light Curve

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of The Sun, according to the most recent ephemerides data. Magnitude data is sampled with a 2 days interval and there might be inaccuracies for objects changing brightness very rapidly during the course of a few days. For comets there could be large discrepancies between the observed and predicted brightness because of their highly dynamic behaviour.

Chart of the magnitude of The Sun as a function of time

The Sun Physical Data

The following shows the known values of the most important physical parameters of The Sun. Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Physical Parameter Value Relative to Earth
Diameter 1391684 km 109.2202
Mass 1989000 x 1024 kg 333,043.6574
Density 1.41 gr/cm3 0.2557
Escape Velocity 618.02 km/s 55.2297
Sideral Rotation 587.2800 hours 24.5370
Absolute Magnitude -26.8

The Sun 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of The Sun computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate The Sun in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Apparent DiameterDiameter Constellation
2023 Nov 25 16h 00m 06s -20° 34’ 53” -26.77 1,943.7” Scorpius
2023 Nov 26 16h 04m 19s -20° 46’ 44” -26.77 1,944.0” Scorpius
2023 Nov 27 16h 08m 35s -20° 58’ 11” -26.77 1,944.4” Scorpius
2023 Nov 28 16h 12m 51s -21° 09’ 16” -26.77 1,944.7” Scorpius
2023 Nov 29 16h 17m 08s -21° 19’ 58” -26.77 1,945.1” Scorpius
2023 Nov 30 16h 21m 24s -21° 30’ 15” -26.77 1,945.4” Scorpius
2023 Dec 01 16h 25m 42s -21° 40’ 06” -26.77 1,945.7” Ophiucus
2023 Dec 02 16h 30m 01s -21° 49’ 33” -26.77 1,946.0” Ophiucus
2023 Dec 03 16h 34m 21s -21° 58’ 36” -26.77 1,946.3” Ophiucus
2023 Dec 04 16h 38m 39s -22° 07’ 14” -26.77 1,946.6” Ophiucus
2023 Dec 05 16h 43m 00s -22° 15’ 25” -26.77 1,946.9” Ophiucus
2023 Dec 06 16h 47m 21s -22° 23’ 12” -26.77 1,947.2” Ophiucus
2023 Dec 07 16h 51m 43s -22° 30’ 32” -26.77 1,947.5” Ophiucus
2023 Dec 08 16h 56m 05s -22° 37’ 24” -26.78 1,947.7” Ophiucus