How Much of the Milky Way Does the Sun Take up?

Our solar system is located in the Milky Way galaxy. Our solar system contains the sun, planets, satellites and rings of planets, asteroids, comets and other dust particles. The sun contains 99.9% of the matter in the solar system, but it contains only a tiny amount of the matter in the Milky Way galaxy because the Milky Way is huge.

If we imagine that the Milky Way is the same size as the United States, our solar system would only be the size of a quarter in comparison to it. The size of the US is more than 9 million square miles (570 billion inches). A US quarter is less than 1 inch in diameter.

This means that we can fit about 597 billion of our solar systems into the Milky Way galaxy. It also means that our solar system makes up 1.6754386e-10% (.00000000016754386%) of the Milky Way galaxy. Since our sun contains most of the matter of our solar system, we can also say that our sun contains about 1.6754386e-10% of the matter in the Milky Way galaxy.

More about the sun:

  • The sun is about 4.6 billion years old.

  • The sun is huge; 1 million Earths could fit inside it.

  • If we wanted to match the energy of the sun, we would need to blow up about 100 billion tons of dynamite per second.

Follow wiseGEEK:

Discuss this Article

Post 2

The sun takes up a lot of our solar system, but it doesn't take up much of the Milky Way galaxy.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?



Free Widgets for your Site/Blog

In the 1870s and 1880s, fans ridiculed baseball players who wore gloves for catching and fielding as “unmanly.”  more...
June 19 ,  1910 :  The first Father's Day celebration occurred.  more...