Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Sun or sol?

  1. May 18, 2014 #1


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Well, I have had a debate with some guys on a facebook group about whether there are many suns in the Universe.

    I think we have only one sun. That is "The sun". The star which is the closest to the Earth.
    However,all of them are saying that the name of the sun is "sol" and there are many suns in the universe. It's a general term for stars.

    I don't think this is true. The Cambridge Advanced learners dictionary 3 defines sun as:the star that the Earth moves around, which provides light and heat for the Earth, or the light or heat that the Earth receives from this star .

    The wikipedia defined sun as the star at the center of the Solar System.

    So who is right? Me or them?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2014 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    From everything I've read, "Sol" or "Sun" is the name of our star.

    However, it is fairly common in sci-fi and science literature to call the star of the star system "the sun", in which case you can think of the term less as a proper noun (describing a unique entity) and more of a common noun (describing a class of entities).

    So you're both right.
  4. May 18, 2014 #3

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    I can't imagine a more pointless argument. If someone says "there are many suns in the Universe" is there any doubt as to what they mean? So this will all boil down to which dictionary to give the most credence to.

    Life is too short.
  5. May 18, 2014 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The International Astronomical Union says its name is the Sun (with a capital letter), and they are responsible for naming things.

    Sol was the Roman name for a Greek sun-god, not the name of the sun.
  6. May 18, 2014 #5
    Do they also say that the name of the moon is "luna" because there are many moons in the universe?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook