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The Sun Quizzes, Trivia and Puzzles
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The Sun Trivia

The Sun Trivia Quizzes

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Fun Trivia
'Let the sunshine in' by testing your knowledge of the most important body in the sky. Without it, where would we be?
12 The Sun quizzes and 120 The Sun trivia questions.
  If the Sky Above You Should Turn Dark    
Match Quiz
 10 Qns
Locations of total solar eclipses
Here are the dates when ten of the first 15 total solar eclipses of the 21st century occurred. Match each of them with a location where you may have been when the sky turned dark. (These are not the only places, just one possibility for each.)
Average, 10 Qns, looney_tunes, Feb 02 24
looney_tunes editor
Feb 02 24
102 plays
The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow
  The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow    
Photo Quiz
 10 Qns
Questions about our Sun
Our Sun is amazing! It gives us light and life, keeps us in orbit at *just* the right distance, and provides us with amazing sunrises and sunsets, rainbows and aurorae! Give the quiz a try and see how brightly YOU shine!
Average, 10 Qns, reedy, Feb 12 23
reedy gold member
Feb 12 23
403 plays
Our Amazing Sun
  Our Amazing Sun editor best quiz   top quiz  
Photo Quiz
 10 Qns
Our sun, or Sol, is an amazing body, responsible for light and life across our solar system. This quiz deals with ten basic facts about our sun while sharing some breathtaking images of it.
Average, 10 Qns, timence, Jan 23 22
timence gold member
Jan 23 22
2567 plays
Oh When Darkness Comes
  Oh, When Darkness Comes   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Solar Eclipses
Solar eclipses produce (more or less) darkness when they occur. What do you know about the science of these events?
Average, 10 Qns, looney_tunes, Jan 12 23
looney_tunes editor
Jan 12 23
370 plays
  Don't Look Up!    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Solar Observation
The Sun is the most magnificent object in the Solar System. However, attempting to study it with the naked eye can lead to permanent blindness. This quiz will focus on telescopes and probes that have been used by scientists to safely study the Sun.
Average, 10 Qns, RedHook13, Jun 30 23
RedHook13 gold member
Jun 30 23
231 plays
  Do You Know The Sun?   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
I will ask questions about the Sun.
Average, 10 Qns, almach, Oct 08 23
Oct 08 23
12891 plays
  The Harsh Light of Day   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
In Australia, the harsh light of our summer day comes from the Sun. But what exactly is the Sun and how does it do what it does? (An attempt at a simple explanation)
Average, 10 Qns, lones78, Nov 29 14
lones78 gold member
1263 plays
  Fun With the Sun   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
A fairly easy quiz about our own star, the sun.
Tough, 10 Qns, daver852, Mar 30 15
daver852 gold member
562 plays
  The Sun Take 2   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Here is another quiz on the Sun, sunspots, flares, etc.
Average, 10 Qns, almach, Oct 08 23
Oct 08 23
4436 plays
  Solar Eclipse - Facts and Myths   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Over the centuries, solar eclipses have dismayed and amazed millions. Can you distinguish between fact and myth? The quiz challenge was issued by player Matthew_07.
Tough, 10 Qns, sterretjie101, Aug 21 17
Aug 21 17
1482 plays
trivia question Quick Question
What is the Sun's absolute (not apparent) magnitude?

From Quiz "The Sun Take 2"

Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Ten hard questions about our sun, Sol. All the answers can be found on the internet, and I guarantee you'll learn something new.
Tough, 10 Qns, labich, Feb 08 21
Feb 08 21
1840 plays
  The Sun Take 1    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Here is another quiz on the Sun.
Tough, 10 Qns, almach, Nov 29 14
1300 plays

The Sun Trivia Questions

1. A solar eclipse occurs when what celestial object passes between the Earth and the Sun, casting a shadow in the Earth?

From Quiz
Oh, When Darkness Comes

Answer: Moon

While Mercury and Venus can, and do, pass between the Earth and the Sun, their distance is such that we see it as a dark spot moving across the Sun, which is called a transit. The Moon is close enough to the Earth for its apparent size in the sky to be almost exactly the same as that of the Sun - the Sun is much larger, but also much farther away. So when the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun, a significant shadow is formed on the surface of the Earth. This blocking of the Sun's light is called an eclipse.

2. The sun hasn't always existed. Scientists estimate that the sun is about how old?

From Quiz Fun With the Sun

Answer: 4.5 billion years

There are various ways that scientists can use to determine the age of the sun. One way is to determine the age of the Earth. It is believed that the Earth and the sun formed at the same time. Using trace amounts of radioactive isotopes found in the Earth's crust, as well as meteorites, scientists can calculate the half-lives of the radioactive elements, and analyze how much remains, and determine a fairly accurate age estimate. Another way to estimate the age of the sun is to measure the rate at which it is converting mass to energy, and then look at the elements that make up the sun. Most scientists believe the sun and the solar system were formed about 4.5 to 4.6 billion years ago.

3. In plain terms, a solar eclipse is a phenomenon that occurs when the moon obscures the disk of the sun. An eclipse only takes place during what lunar phase?

From Quiz Solar Eclipse - Facts and Myths

Answer: New moon

In every type of solar eclipse, it is our neighbouring satellite that moves between us and the sun during the lunar phase known as new or dark moon. It is called dark moon because the sun shines on the side of the moon turned towards it, while the side facing the earth is unlit and therefore 'dark'.

4. What is it called when the Moon is directly between the Earth and the Sun?

From Quiz The Sun Take 1

Answer: Solar eclipse

5. What is the brightest star in our night sky?

From Quiz Do You Know The Sun?

Answer: Sirius

6. From Earth, the Sun appears yellow, but what is generally accepted as the actual colour?

From Quiz The Harsh Light of Day

Answer: White

The Earth's atmosphere scatters the light which is why we see the Sun as yellow. Of the several sources I could find on the net, nearly all of them state that the Sun appears white when viewed from space, with one source saying that the Sun is a 'peach pinkish' colour (relative to the D65 white point). According to this source, most people see D65 as having a hint of blue so concedes that the Sun may actually be white. Just to make things more confusing, our Sun is classed as a yellow dwarf.

7. What type of eclipse takes place when a ring of light surrounds the outline of the moon?

From Quiz Solar Eclipse - Facts and Myths

Answer: Annular

Four types of eclipses are recognised. Annulus is the term for the bright ring around the moon when it does not obscure the entire solar disk, hence an annular eclipse. A partial eclipse is when only a part of the sun is obscured by a circular 'chip' or bite. Total eclipse is when the entire sun is hidden from us by the moon, while a hybrid is a rare cross between a total and an annular eclipse.

8. Alchemists used a symbol for Sol. The symbol is still in use, especially by astrologers. What is it?

From Quiz Sol

Answer: A circle with a dot

The symbol is also called "The eye of Horus". It symbolizes the blending of male and female forces.

9. How long has the Sun been in existence?

From Quiz The Sun Take 2

Answer: 4.5 billion years

The study of chondrules shows our solar system to be about 4.5 billion years old.

10. How far away is the Earth from the Sun in light minutes?

From Quiz Do You Know The Sun?

Answer: 8

Actually, it's about 8 minutes and 20 seconds.

11. What solar phenomenon serves as both the name of a small town in New Mexico as well as a solar observatory located in that town?

From Quiz Don't Look Up!

Answer: Sunspot

Sunspots are dark patches found across the surface of the Sun. They are caused by an intense magnetic field which cause the gases surrounding the sunspot to lower in temperature, giving observers the illusion of darkness compared to the rest of the Sun. Some sunspots can grow to larger in size than the planet Earth. The Sunspot Solar Observatory was built in 1947 and is located within the Sacramento Mountains in southern New Mexico, about an hour drive from Alamogordo. It is affiliated with New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. The unincorporated community surrounding the facility was also given the name Sunspot after a controversial election was held. One of the facility's most well known pieces of equipment is the Richard B. Dunn Solar Telescope which was completed in 1969.

12. The Sun takes 225-250 million years to orbit the centre of which galaxy?

From Quiz The Harsh Light of Day

Answer: Milky Way

The Sun is orbiting the Milky Way approximately 24,000-26,000 light years (Wikipedia) from the galactic centre. When 'standing' at the galactic north pole, the Sun orbits clockwise, taking 225-250 million years to do so. The sun is currently within the inner rim of the Orion Arm of the Milky Way. The Orion Arm is also referred to as the 'Local Arm', 'Local Spur' or the 'Orion Spur'.

13. Sol's energy is being produced by nuclear fusion reactions. Every second Sol converts 600.000.000 tons of hydrogen into helium and energy. How much of this is converted into energy?

From Quiz Sol

Answer: 4.000.000 tons

Nuclear reaction: 4H -> He + energy. 4 Hydrogen atoms weigh: 4.03176. One helium atom weighs: 4.002602. So ~0.7% mass is made into energy. Sol's output can be measured to: 3.86 e33 erg/sec. Einstein said: "E=M*c*c". So since the speed of light (c) is ~2.99 e10 cm/sec, we have that M=4.289 e12 g/sec or 4.280.000 tons/sec. So actually it's 4.280.000 tons.

14. What is the spectral type of our Sun?

From Quiz Do You Know The Sun?

Answer: G2

Our Sun is a G2 star, meaning its surface temperature is about 5700 Kelvin.

15. Due to the Sun not being solid, it rotates faster at its equator than it does at its poles. What is the name of this phenomenon?

From Quiz The Harsh Light of Day

Answer: Differential rotation

Even though the actual rotation of the Sun occurs every 25.6 days (at the equator) and 33.5 days (at the poles), for us here on Earth it appears to rotate every 28 days. The difference in equatorial rotation and polar rotation is known as 'differential rotation' and is caused by the massive difference in temperature of the Sun from the core to the outer.

16. During what phase of a total eclipse do Bailey's Beads occur?

From Quiz Solar Eclipse - Facts and Myths

Answer: Second Contact

Total eclipses are divided into four phases. During First Contact the moon's shadow moves across the sun's disk. In Second Contact, Bailey's Beads appear. The phenomenon is the result of the moon's cratered surface, allowing through uneven beads of light in the ring around the moon. During Totality the sun's disk is obscured, while in Third Contact, the lunar shadow moves across to reveal more and more of the sun until the eclipse ends.

17. The energy released from the core is in form of gamma rays. On the way out through Sol, the energy changes to primarily light. How is the energy being transferred from the core to the surface?

From Quiz Sol

Answer: By both convection and radiation

The first 80% of the way is mainly done by radiation. After that, it's mainly done by convection.

18. A mottling effect on the Sun is called?

From Quiz The Sun Take 1

Answer: Granulation

19. What is the main composition of the Sun?

From Quiz Do You Know The Sun?

Answer: Hydrogen and Helium

Hydrogen and Helium make up 99.9 percent of the Sun.

20. NASA teamed up with which European country's space program to build two Helios solar probes that were launched in the mid-1970s?

From Quiz Don't Look Up!

Answer: West Germany

The Helios solar probes were constructed via a joint effort between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (aka DLR), which was founded in Cologne, West Germany in 1969. Helios-A was launched first on December 10, 1974 and its twin, Helios-B, was later launched on January 15, 1976. Both spacecraft were constructed in West Germany and were launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida using a Titan IIIE rocket. The Helios probes had a special conical design which provided their solar arrays limited exposure to the sun in order to protect the spacecrafts' instruments from intense heat. Helios-B gained notoriety for making the closest fly-by of the Sun of any spacecraft at the time. However, this may have had a detrimental effect on the spacecraft as Helios-B was the first of the twin probes to be deactivated on December 23, 1979. Helios-A was eventually deactivated on February 18, 1985 and both now derelict spacecraft remain in Solar orbit to this day.

21. Roughly how long is the time interval between total solar eclipses occurring on Earth?

From Quiz Oh, When Darkness Comes

Answer: 18 months

If the Moon and the Earth travelled in circular orbits, and they moved in the same plane, then there would be a total solar eclipse every month, whenever there is a New Moon. (This is assuming that this hypothetical situation has the Moon at the right distance for totality.) However, their orbits are elliptical and inclined to each other, leading to the eclipse seasons that occur roughly each six months, with one or two eclipses in each season. However, many of these will be partial or annular eclipses. On average, there will be a total solar eclipse once every 18 months. However, these eclipses are not all seen at the same spot. If you had to guess how long you need to wait to see another eclipse at the same spot where you just saw one, the answer would be somewhere between 350 and 420 years, depending on where you are. The number 75 was thrown in as the familiar (to astronomy students) time for the return of Haley's Comet.

22. Sol's surface is called the photosphere, and is dotted by sunspots. The number of Sol's sunspots follows a cycle. How long is this cycle?

From Quiz Sol

Answer: 11 years

The number of sunspots follow the normal cycle of Sol's activity. After 250 years of counting, we're able to measure it to about 11 years. The cycle is due to the continuing disruption and restoration of Sol's magnetic field. After the 11 years, the magnetic field has been turned around, so actually it is a 22-year long cycle.

23. A bright patch seen near the edge of the Sun is called a?

From Quiz The Sun Take 1

Answer: Facula

Faculae usually occur near sunspots.

24. What is the Sun's absolute (not apparent) magnitude?

From Quiz The Sun Take 2

Answer: 4.8

The Sun's magnitude at a distance of 32.6 light years (ten parsecs) is a plus 4.8. On Earth a sixth magnitude star is about the faintest most people can see with the unaided (no binos or telescope) eye. The Sun's apparent magnitude (from the Earth) is -26.5.

25. The parts of the Sun above the photosphere are collectively known as the WHAT?

From Quiz The Harsh Light of Day

Answer: Solar atmosphere

Solar atmosphere is also known as the Corona or Coronal Loop. This part of the Sun can be seen with the naked eye during a solar eclipse and can also be seen with certain types of telescopes at any other time (as long as the telescope has a 'view' of the Sun). During a solar eclipse, the solar atmosphere is the 'white fuzzy bit' seen around the edge of the moon.

26. When the earth is farthest from the sun, its position is called aphelion. In that position a total eclipse is most likely. What is earth's closest position to the sun called, when an annular eclipse is more likely to occur?

From Quiz Solar Eclipse - Facts and Myths

Answer: Perihelion

When the earth is closest to the sun, its position is called perihelion. Because of the comparative size of the sun and the moon, the moon's orbit around the earth as well as the position of the earth in its orbit around the sun play a part in any type of eclipse. The penumbra is the moon's outer shadow that falls on the earth and helps create partial eclipses. Photosphere is a term for the sun's disk, while ecliptic is the orbit of the earth around the sun.

27. Above the photosphere is the chromosphere and above that, the corona. Sometimes Sol sends out big, bright fire loops reaching high up into the corona. What is this called?

From Quiz Sol

Answer: Prominences

Plages are bright spots on the surface. They are regions with higher temperature and only appear in the photosphere. Flares are big outbursts of fire, but they don't get any higher than the chromosphere. CMEs, or Coronal Mass Ejections, are clouds of gas sent out from the corona. They are a satellite's worst nightmare.

28. What filter do we need to use with a telescope to see prominences and flares on the Sun?

From Quiz The Sun Take 1

Answer: Hydrogen-alpha filter

A hydrogen alpha filter lets through just one wavelength of light, which allows the prominences and flares to be seen.

29. The Sun will end its life as a what?

From Quiz Do You Know The Sun?

Answer: White Dwarf

The Sun will become a red giant, then a planetary nebula and end up as a white dwarf.

30. What acronym serves as the name of a solar satellite that shares its name with a specific location in New York City?

From Quiz Don't Look Up!

Answer: SOHO

SOHO stands for Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. It was constructed via joint venture between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). The spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on December 2, 1995 using an Atlas II rocket. SOHO was positioned at the Earth-Sun L1 Lagrange point, located about 1.5 million km inward of Earth's orbit, which makes it easier to maintain the spacecraft's orbit around the Sun. One of SOHO's main specialties is the study of solar weather. SOHO was initially supposed to be operational for only two years, however its mission was extended and is now scheduled to conclude by the end of 2025. SOHO shares its name with a neighborhood in Manhattan, New York City. The name is an acronym that stands for South of Houston St.

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Last Updated Feb 24 2024 5:52 AM
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