Books About the Sun

The sun warms the Earth and provides us with light. When clouds hide the sun, the air is not as warm. The sun also has an effect on our weather. Sections of the Earth that are closest to the sun are warmer than other sections. For example, when the northern hemisphere tilts toward the sun, it is warmer than the southern hemisphere, but when the southern hemisphere is closer, then it is warmer than the northern hemisphere. That means that when it's summer in the northern hemisphere, it's winter in the southern hemisphere. And when it's winter in the northern hemisphere, it's summer in the southern hemisphere. The equator is always closer to the sun than the rest of the planet, so it is always very warm along the equator.

The sun affects the Earth in many other ways, sometimes in ways we don't always recognize. Solar storms can actually affect communication satellites! These books will help your child (and you, too!) get a better understanding of the sun and its effects on the Earth. You can find a book here for children of all ages. You'll even find one that explains how to safely observe the sun.

The Sun (Isaac Asimov's 21st Century Library)

The Sun (Isaac Asimov's 21st Century Library)
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This book is a wonderful introduction to the sun for preschoolers. The recommended age for the book is 4-8, but if you have a younger one who is fascinated by space and the solar system, this would be a good book to start with. My son was already trying to learn all about space when he was three. He read this book and then moved on to others. "The Sun" starts with an explanation of how the sun and the planets came to be, starting with a cloud of dust in space. It goes on to explain what makes the sun shine and moves forward through discussions of sunspots, solar flares, eclipses, and on to how to study the sun and how important the sun is to life on Earth. The book is full of information accompanied by beautiful photos and illustrations.

Ages 4 - 8

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The Sun

The Sun
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This is another book that young astronomers will enjoy. It includes a little about myths and legends, which were so much a part of man's early relationship to the sun. But mostly what you'll find is scientific information about the sun presented in a question and answer format.. It discusses what can and can't be seen through telescopes coming from the sun. For example, you can see solar flares but not not the radiation. Children can also learn about how the sun determines seasons on Earth and creates the northern lights. Throughout the book, you'll find great pictures and illustrations of the sun and its place in our solar system. You'll also find some activities.

Ages 6 to 10

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The Sun (True Books: Space)

The Sun (True Book)
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This is another book that children younger than the recommended age will enjoy if they want to learn about the sun. The book is quite easy to read and yet has loads of information. Your child will learn that the gases around the sun can reach 9 million degrees Fahrenheit. When you think about how hot it feels outside when the temperature in our small part of the globe is over just 100 degrees, then you realize how hot the sun is and why it is able to warm the earth even when it's so far away. How far? It's 93 million miles away. If there were a highway with a 55 mile an hour speed limit from the Earth to the moon, it would take you 200 years to drive there. And that's not counting all the "pit" stops! The book includes many photos and illustrations as well as a list of places to visit, like the Kennedy Space Center, and a short list of Web sites.

Ages 7 and up

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Sun Observer's Guide

Sun Observer's Guide
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When we want to study something, we observe it. But if we look at the sun, we can damage our eyes. So how can one observe the sun without looking at it? This guide explains just how to do that. Methods include the standby pin-hole camera, but also discuss telescopes, binoculars, spectroscopesand hydrogen-alpha filters. What's important in observing the sun is safety and this book does provide safety measures. Readers will learn how to safely view and even photograph the sun. Information about the sun is included as well as the interaction between the Earth and the sun. There is also information about eclipses. Dates for "future" eclipses are already in the past, but there's more to the section on eclipses than dates.

This guide doesn't have a recommended age, but it looks appropriate for older children12 and up. The language is meant for non-experts so it's easy to understand. Adults would enjoy this book as well.

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Nearest Star: The Surprising Science of Our Sun

Nearest Star: The Surprising Science of Our Sun
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For older teens interested in the sun, this is a good book to have. It covers the history and science of the sun, all in what the authors call "ordinary English." Readers will learn about the sun and how it is studied, from the different telescopes and satellites to radioheliographs to coronographs and more. The book is packed with information on various phenomena like eclipses, neutrinos, and space weather, and also covers space missions that study the sun. Photographs and illustrations of the instruments used to study the sun, such as the photo of the Nobeyama radiotheliographs, enhance the discussion, as do the photos of the sun. A list of Web sites to visit is included.

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