What If...

There were two suns?

What if there were two suns?

Classroom view

Activity overview

15 mins
Ages 9 – 11

Science topics:

Space , Light

Get your class thinking and talking with this fun question! Having a broad question means you'll get a wide range of ideas coming from your pupils.

Run the activity

1. In pairs, discuss what might be a Plus, Minus and Interesting way to think about the question. Stuck for ideas? They could think about:

  • How is the Sun important to us on planet Earth?
  • Would we orbit both suns?
  • What would happen to the Earth if there was twice the amount of heat?
  • What would happen to the Earth if there was twice the amount of light?
  • Would two suns have an effect on our day and night?

2. Ask the children to share their partner's ideas then encourage a broader discussion as a class, remember there is no wrong or right answer!

Background science

The Earth orbits around the Sun, which provides solar energy in the form of heat and light.  This warms our seas, and gives energy to green plants that, in turn, provide food and oxygen for life on Earth. 

The Kepler space telescope has found evidence that there are solar systems with two suns and this simulation helps you visualise how double-sun solar systems work. If we had two suns, scientists suggest that the days could be much brighter and warmer when both suns were up. However, the suns might have different sunrises and sunsets meaning that there could be times where just one sun was up, as well as night time where neither were up. Scientists also suggest that the suns would eclipse (move in front of each other) as often as once a week and that the seasons might change more rapidly.

Take it further

You might like to find out more about what would happen to your shadow if there were two suns. You could model this out using a toy figure and two torches! Or, use this fun activity to think about ‘What if there was no night?

Image source: Shutterstock