Sun is the primary source of life on your planet. Without it, even the imagination of existing on Earth is impossible. It’s also the most important part of your solar system as all the planets in this solar system orbit around it. But have you ever imagined if your sun is truly as unique as it seems, or is it just one among the many suns available in this universe? Have you ever questioned how many suns are in the universe? How many suns exist in this galaxy? Beyond your world, let’s learn about the suns, which you didn’t know existed.
1. Is there only 1 Sun in the Universe?Photo by Irtaza Ali
The sun is a yellow dwarf star formed about 4.5 billion years ago. This ball of hydrogen and helium is not anything rare as it’s just one start among the billion stars present in your galaxy. Many other stars in the universe are larger and smaller than the sun. Some even have a hundred times bigger diameter than the sun. There are a billion stars like the sun in the universe, but just one star is named the sun. Now, when you are asked how many suns are in the universe? You can confidently reply, just one. Also, check out In Which Direction does the Sun Set?
2. Are there more than 1 Suns?
The sun is a normal-looking star, and there are more than 100 billion such stars in this universe. All these stars have a name of their own, for example, Sirius, Barnard’s star, etc. But still, many people incorrectly use the term sun to address these stars. The balls of gases outside your solar system are referred to as stars, not suns. The Sun is a bright and luminous central star of your solar system. Logically speaking, there are many stars like the sun, but in the universe, one star is called the sun. (See What is Revolution and Rotation?)
3. How many Suns are in the Universe? How many Suns Exist in the Universe?
As you are probably aware, the Earth, the Moon, the Sun, and even your solar system are part of the universe. It includes everything, even time, space, matter, energy, and yourself. In this universe, your Sun is just one average-size star closest to the Earth. But it is just one star among the more than a hundred billion stars in your galaxy. Other sun-like gas spheres outside your solar system are called stars or have special scientific names. (See How Hot is the Sun?)
4. How many Suns does the Milky Way have?Photo by Denis Degioanni on Unsplash
After learning how many suns are in the universe, let’s learn about the number of suns in the Milky Way. There are more than 200 billion galaxies in the observable universe, and the Milky Way is one of them. It’s about 13.6-billion-year-old. Just as the Earth orbits the sun, so does the sun orbit the Milky Way.
The sun is a star, and the Milky Way galaxy has more than a hundred billion such stars as Sun. Some of these stars are smaller than the sun, and some are larger. Till now, 3,200 stars with planets orbiting them have been discovered in this galaxy. There are many stars in the galaxy, but only one is called the Sun. (See When do Days Start to get Longer?)
5. Does every Galaxy have a Sun?
The Sun is a bright luminous star in your solar system and is orbited by all the planets of this system. It’s surely special but not unique as it’s just one average-sized star among the billion numbers. Many stars like the sun in this galaxy are also the center of some planetary systems and are orbited by planets. Thus, the galaxy has a lot of stars but only one like the sun. So the answer to how many suns are in the universe is similar to that in the galaxy. (See What Would Happen if There was No Sunlight?)
6. How many Suns can a Planet have?Image by Валера Шумский from Pixabay
As you aware of how many suns are in the universe, let’s learn about the number of suns a planet can have. There are numerous stars like the sun in this universe. While the Earth orbits the sun (a star), other planets in the universe also orbit other stars. It is even possible for a planet to orbit around two or more stars.
- In 2011, during a Milky Way exploration mission, NASA discovered an inhospitable planet and named it Kepler-16B. It was about the same size as Saturn, and it was also observed to orbit around two stars.
- In 2021, another planet named KOI-5AB was also uncovered by scientists. It has three stars, but it orbits only one of the three stars. Also, check out how many times Bigger is Earth than the Moon?
As long as the planets have a separation between the stars, it’s logically possible for the planets to have numerous stars like the sun. (See What does it feel like to be in outer space?)
7. How many Stars are there in the Universe?
At night, the entire sky is filled with dazzling stars. Besides how many suns are in the universe, you must have heard that there are uncountable stars in the universe and how it’s impossible to count the number of stars. These statements are just talks of the past. But now, astronomers can estimate the number of stars in the galaxy through a method.
They measure the starlight of a star. Based on these measurements, it is estimated that there are about 100 billion stars in the Milky Way. To get the number of stars in the universe, you multiply the number of stars in a typical galaxy (100 billion) by the number of galaxies in the universe (2 trillion). Thus, the approximate number of stars in the universe is 200 billion trillion or 200 sextillions. (See What are the 6 Layers of the Earth?)
8. Are all Stars Suns?Photo by Steven Su on Unsplash
There are billions of stars in this universe but are all of them called the Suns? The answer is a straight no. Not all stars are the sun. When a star is in the center of a planetary system, and the planets are orbiting it, it’s called the sun, which is an informal way to address it. Every star has a unique name used to address them. To be like the sun, a star needs to be much larger and brighter than most stars. (See Why Japan is Called Land of Rising Sun?)
9. Why is Sun Called a Star?
Stars are bright spheres of gas, mainly hydrogen and helium. They produce their energy through fusion reactions. These reactions also help the star against gravity by producing heat, protons, and heavier elements. All these standards of being a star are met by the sun.
- It’s a big glowing gas ball.
- Its core fuses 600 million tonnes of hydrogen into helium and transforms 4 million tonnes of substance into energy.
- It also produces light and heat, which takes 10,000 to 170,000 years to escape its core. (See Where is the Center of the Earth Located?)
10. What if Earth had 2 Suns?
Scientists have discovered planets like Kepler-16b to have two suns in this universe. But if the Earth were to have 2 suns, then surviving on this planet would be nearly impossible. If the Earth were to have two dimmer stars (suns) like Kepler-16b instead of your single bright sun, then the planet will be extremely cold. Apart from being cold, the Earth would experience these things if it were to have 2 suns:
- No life will be formed here because all its water will be frozen. Must read how long does it Take to Walk around the Earth?
- The meaning of day and night will completely change. The days will be brighter when both the suns are up.
- The nights will be different when the two suns set at different times.
- The number of eclipses will increase when one sun moves in front of the other. They may occur as often as once a week.
- The Earth may even have abrupt changes in the seasons. (Also read What is the Difference between Oceanic Crust and Continental Crust?)