The proper name Sun developed from Old English sunne and may be related to south. Cognates to English it appears in other Germanic languages, including Old Frisian: sunne, sonne; Old Saxon: sunna; Middle Dutch: sonne; modern Dutch: zon; Old High German: sunna; Old Norse: sunna and Gothic: sunnō. All Germanic terms for the Sun stem from Proto-Germanic sunnōn. The Latin name for the Sun, Sol, is used at times as another name for the Sun. The English weekday name Sunday stems from Old English Sunnandæg: “Sun’s day” and is ultimately a result of a Germanic interpretation of Latin dies solis, itself a translation of the Greek ἡμέρα ἡλίου (hemera heliou).
The sun began to form about 4.6 billion years ago when an enormous cloud of gas and molecular dust started to collapse. As the cloud compressed, gravity caused its particles to condense into distinct areas, with most of the particles ending up in an orb near what had been the cloud’s center. Another 100,000 years passed, in which the orb continued to collapse until, finally, a combination of rising temperatures and increased pressure kindled it’s core.
Hydrogen (H) 73.46%
Helium (He) 24.85%
Oxygen (O) 0.77%
Carbon (C) 0.29%
Iron (Fe) 0.16%
Neon (Ne) 0.12%
Nitrogen (N) 0.09%
Silicon (Si) 0.07%
Magnesium (Mg) 0.05%
Sulfur (S) 0.04%
The cosmic voice of Sun (NASA recording)
Solar deities play a major role in many world religions and mythologies.
The ancient Sumerians believed that the sun was Utu, the god of justice and twin brother of Inanna, the Queen of Heaven, who was identified as the planet Venus. Later, Utu was identified with the East Semitic god Shamash (שמש). Utu was regarded as a helper-deity, who aided those in distress, and, in iconography, he is usually portrayed with a long beard and clutching a saw, which represented his role as the dispenser of justice. From at least the 4th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, the Sun was worshipped as the god Ra (), portrayed as a falcon-headed divinity surmounted by the solar disk, and surrounded by a serpent. In the New Empire period, the Sun became identified with the dung beetle, whose spherical ball of dung was identified with the Sun. In the form of the Sun disc Aten, the Sun had a brief resurgence during the Amarna Period when it again became the preeminent, if not only, divinity for the Pharaoh Akhenaton.
In Proto-Indo-European religion, the sun was personified as the goddess Sehul. Derivatives of this goddess in Indo-European languages include the Old Norse Sól, Sanskrit Surya, Gaulish Sulis, Lithuanian Saulė, and Slavic Solntse. In ancient Greek religion, the sun deity was the male god Helios, but traces of an earlier female solar deity are preserved in Helen of Troy. In later times, Helios was syncretized with Apollo.
In the Bible (Tanakh, תנ”ך), Malachi 4:2 mentions:
Shemesh Tzedakah Sun of Righteousness (Sun of Justice)
… which some Christians have interpreted as a reference to the Messiah (משיח).
In ancient Roman culture, Sunday was the day of the Sun god. It was adopted as the Sabbath (שבת) day by Christians who did not have a Jewish background. The symbol of light was a pagan device adopted by Christians, and perhaps the most important one that did not come from Jewish traditions. In paganism, the Sun was a source of life, giving warmth and illumination to mankind. It was the center of a popular cult among Romans, who would stand at dawn to catch the first rays of sunshine as they prayed. The celebration of the winter solstice (which influenced Christmas) was part of the Roman cult of the unconquered Sun (Sol Invictus).
With every passing second, the sun converts 600 million tons (544 million metric tons) of hydrogen (1H) into helium (2He) to generate energy. But the sun’s hydrogen is a limited source, and in about 5 to 7 billion years, it will run out of fuel. When it does, the sun will burn hotter… About a billion years from now, the sun will burn so hot that it will begin to evaporate our planets oceans. Unable to course-correct the widespread drought plaguing the planet, people will be among the last to die. First, we’ll witness the end of plant life. The sun will simply burn too hot for photosynthesis to occur. Without food, plant-eating animals will starve. Without plant-eating animals to eat, meat-eating animals will become extinct. And without water, plants or animals to help them survive, people will die, too…
Although we wouldn’t be here to see it, about 3.5 billion years from now, the sun will be so large and so hot that Earth’s mountains would begin to melt. At this point Earth’s atmosphere would be more like that of Venus: a mix of 96 percent carbon dioxide (CO2) and, to a lesser extent, nitrogen (7N) and other elements… After a few more billion years of steeping in a hot slurry of carbon dioxide and heat, Earth will be swallowed by an ever-expanding sun gobbling up matter as it careens toward death…
About 6.7 billion years from now, it would become a planetary nebula, then in about 9-10 billion years, a white dwarf star and finally a black dwarf star trillions of years from now.