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You may have heard that it takes about 8 minutes for light from the Sun to reach Earth, but did you know it can take 150,000 years for that light to get from inside our Sun to the surface?
Even though the Sun is 93,000,000 miles away, it rules life on Earth. Our planet is bathed in constant waves of heat and light coming from the Sun's surface. But that white layer of gas we see on the Sun's surface barely hints at the layers that lie below, churning in ceaseless motion. That visible surface of a star is called its photosphere, but below it are radiative and convection zones that slow down the photons so much that, for our Sun, it may take 150,000 years for one to escape. That means the sunlight you see today was likely produced in the Sun's core when saber tooth tigers roamed our planet! For smaller stars the journey is less, and for bigger stars it can be much longer. You can choose a star type and begin your journey through the solar maze to see how long it takes your photon to get to the surface. Along the way we'll spell out some facts about stars. Let the game begin!