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10 incredible images of the sun

By: Katherine Butler on May 2, 2011, 11:38 a.m.
how big is the earth in comparison to the sun

Photo: NASA/JPL/Cal-Tech

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Sun and Earth in scale

This artist's rendering depicts what our solar system might look like if the Earth nestled next to the sun. (And somehow had a magically enhanced ozone to prevent it from sizzling.) The sun is about 149.6 million kilometers away from the Earth. This distance means that it takes light from the star around 8 minutes and 19 seconds to reach our planet. NASA reports that its radius is about 109 times as big as Earth's. As NASA writes, "suppose the radius of Earth were the width of an ordinary paper clip. The radius of the sun would be roughly the height of a desk, and the sun would be about 100 paces from Earth."