The sun has been revered since humans first walked the Earth. Today scientists are using increasingly sophisticated technology to better understand how the sun functions and affects our Earth. Current studies include correlating solar activity to help predict climate cycles on Earth, and learning how solar activity disrupts radio signals in the outer layers of our atmosphere.

One of NCAR’s first exhibits was a three-dimensional model of the sun. The cutaway model shows the areas of the sun that NCAR scientists study, from the red-hot core, to the surface's sun spots, to the bursts of gas that can explode from the surface out into space a quarter of a million miles or more—the distance of the moon from the Earth.

To increase your knowledge of the sun, read the Information in the "Constant as the Sun" Fact Sheet at
To learn more about the division at NCAR that studies the sun, the High Altitude Observatory (HAO), go to, and also check out HAO’s own education pages at

To learn more about HAO’s research on the sun’s interior, solar magnetism, the solar atmosphere, and terrestrial impacts caused by the sun, go to