How big is our Sun?

I have done many talks on science - especially on physics, chemistry, quantum mechanics and astronomy. One particularly fun subject is on the sizes of things in our universe - from the smallest building blocks inside of particles all the way up to grand structures of galaxies.

I did a couple of demonstrations for kids in a primary school. The kids learned about how tiny things are in a Hydrogen atom by having one electron boy running around a proton girl - hopelessly in love but always out of touch. We worked our way up, demonstrating the sizes of cells in our bodies, the relative size of a body to Oslo and Oslo to Europe and the World. The size of Earth compared to Jupiter and our Sun. And then… How big is our Sun related to other stars? Is it small, big or mediocre? Luckily our sun is mediocre in size and just about right to harbour life as we know it on the planet where we live.

There are lots of stars smaller than our Sun and many that are bigger. Some are mind boggling huge. A few are gazillionically Big.

I like to physically demonstrate concepts with my audiences. And in my workshops with this primary school, we used kids and things and the gymnastics hall to demonstrate relative sizes. I also used a video to wrap it up. While the video I used was good, it didn’t match the one that came out just four days ago. It’s brilliant. In this, you will get a sense of how enormous some stars are and how small your problems really are:

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