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Can We Travel to the Sun?

Sunrise Over Shuttle Atlantis
The sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, illuminating space shuttle Atlantis' external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters on Launch Pad 39A. Launch is scheduled to take place for the STS-135 mission on July 8, 2011. This image was taken on June 23, 2011. (Image credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann)

In theory, we could. But the trip is long — the sun is 93 million miles (about 150 million kilometers) away — and we don’t have the technology to safely get astronauts to the sun and back yet.

And if we did, it’d be pretty hot. The sun’s surface is about 6,000 Kelvin, which is 10,340 degrees Fahrenheit (5,726 degrees Celsius).

The sun would melt anything that got near it. But we can send robotic probes toward the sun and even around it. Today, many unmanned solar telescopes keep a constant watch on the sun to monitor its behavior and weather patterns.

SpaceKids on provides simple, straightforward answers to really big cosmic questions. See more SpaceKids questions.

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