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The Sun (in Greek: Helios, in Latin: SolUnknown extension tag "ref") is the star at the center of the Solar System and is by far the most important source of energy for life on Earth. It is a nearly perfect spherical ball of hot plasma,<ref> {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref><ref> {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> with internal convective motion that generates a magnetic field via a dynamo process.<ref name="doi10.1146/annurev-astro-081913-040012">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> Its diameter is about 109 times that of Earth, and it has a mass about 330,000 times that of Earth, accounting for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System.<ref name=Woolfson00> {{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> About three quarters of the Sun's mass consists of hydrogen; the rest is mostly helium, with much smaller quantities of heavier elements, including oxygen, carbon, neon and iron.<ref name=basu2008> {{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref>

The Sun is a G-type main-sequence star (G2V) based on spectral class and it is informally referred to as a yellow dwarf. It formed approximately 4.567 billion<ref group=lower-alpha name=short>All numbers in this article are short scale. One billion is 109, or 1,000,000,000.</ref><ref name="Connelly2012">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> years ago from the gravitational collapse of matter within a region of a large molecular cloud. Most of this matter gathered in the center, whereas the rest flattened into an orbiting disk that became the Solar System. The central mass became increasingly hot and dense, eventually initiating nuclear fusion in its core. It is thought that almost all stars form by this process.

The Sun is roughly middle aged and has not changed dramatically for four billion<ref group=lower-alpha name=short /> years, and will remain fairly stable for another four billion years. However, after hydrogen fusion in its core has stopped, the Sun will undergo severe changes and become a red giant. It is calculated that the Sun will become sufficiently large to engulf the current orbits of Mercury, Venus, and possibly Earth.

The enormous effect of the Sun on the Earth has been recognized since prehistoric times, and the Sun has been regarded by some cultures as a deity. Earth's movement around the Sun is the basis of the solar calendar, which is the predominant calendar in use today.


Sun sections
Intro  Name and etymology  Characteristics  Sunlight  Composition  Structure  Magnetism and activity  Life phases  Motion and location  Theoretical problems  History of observation  Observation and effects  See also  Notes  References  Further reading  External links  

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