What Is the Sun Made Of?

The sun is a big ball of gas and plasma, but what is the sun made of exactly? Most of the gas — around 92% — is hydrogen, according to NASA. It is converted into energy in the sun’s core. The energy moves outward through the interior layers, into the sun’s atmosphere, and is released into the solar system as heat and light.

Nuclear fusion

In the sun’s core, gravitational forces create tremendous pressure and temperatures. The temperature of the sun in this layer is about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit (15 million degrees Celsius). Hydrogen atoms are compressed and fuse together, creating helium. This process is called nuclear fusion. As the gases heat up, atoms break apart into charged particles, turning the gas into plasma.