March 26, 2009
The Sun Moves Ver-r-r-y Slowly
The Sun is the center of our solar system, but it doesn't stay in one place.
It orbits around the center of our Milky Way galaxy, which is about 28,000 light–years away. (A light-year is about 5.88 trillion miles.) It takes the Sun about 226 million years to go around the galaxy once!
The Sun rotates on its axis in the same direction as Earth (counterclockwise, when looking down from the north pole). Because the Sun is gaseous, different sections rotate at different speeds.
At the surface, the area around the equator rotates once about every 25 days. The Sun's north and south poles rotate more slowly. It can take those areas more than 30 days to complete one rotation.
The Sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent upon it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.
–Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer (1564–1642)
The Old Farmer's Almanac for Kids, Volume 2