Is the Sun Unusual?

  • Published on: 17 June 2020
  • The Copernican Principle has been with us for centuries. It broadly states that "we are typical" but increasingly we are beginning to question this doctrine. One famous push back is the Rare Earth hypothesis, but testing this idea will take generations. What about our Sun? Surely here we should have a better understanding as to whether our star is typical or not. Join us as we discuss why the Sun might be more special than Copernicus ever imagined.

    Written and presented by Prof Kipping

    This video is based on research conducted at the Cool Worlds Lab at Columbia University, New York. You can now support our research program directly here:

    *Correction, Copernicus was Polish!

    Thank-you to Kevin Clark, Denny Smith, Stephanie Hackley, Kolos Kantor for their support and especially to Executive Producers Tom Widdowson, Laura Sanborn & Mark Sloan.

    ► Ward & Brownlee, 2010, Rare Earth, Copernicus (Göttingen)
    ► Gilliland et al., 2010, Kepler Mission Stellar and Instument Noise Properties, ApJS, 197, 6:
    ► Maehara et al., 2012, Superflares on solar-type stars, Nature, 485, 478:
    ► Tu et al., 2020, Superflares on solar-type stars from the first year observation of TESS, ApJ, 890, 46:
    ► Reinhold et al., 2020, The Sun is less active than other solar-like stars, Science, 368, 518:
    ► Eric Mamajek spectral classifications:
    ► Kroupa, 2002, The Initial Mass Function of Stars: Evidence for Uniformity in Variable Systems, Science, 295, 82:

    Video materials
    ► Earth video credit to NASA/ESA/M.Kornmesser:
    ► Galaxies fly through Sloan SDSS/BOSS/Berkeley Lab:
    ► Flying into a galaxy by أحمد الحسيني:
    ► Flying through stars by Wilson Blindado:
    ► HD 85512b animation by ESO/M. Kornmesser:
    ► DSCOVR/EPIC/BlueTurn Earth timelapse:
    ► K2-18b ESA/Hubble/M. Kornmesser:
    ► Milky Way animation by Stefan Payne-Wardenaar:
    ► Proxima animation by [email protected] Arecibo/ESO:
    ► Stellar granulation video observed & reduced by Vasco Manuel de Jorge Henriques, ISP(KVA), Stockholm:
    ► Sunspot video observed & reduced by Vasco Manuel de Jorge Henriques, ISP(KVA), Stockholm:
    ► Solar prominence by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO:
    ► Fiery loop by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO:
    ► Charon fly over by NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Lunar and Planetary Institute:
    ► HST animations by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab:
    ► Transit animation by ESA:
    ► Inside the Sun by SpaceRip:
    ► DKIST video:
    ► Sun timelapse by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/S. Wiessinger:
    ► GJ 1214b animation by ESO/L. Calçada:
    ► Sunset by ZH Media:

    Movies/TV scenes used
    ► Sunshine (2007)/Fox Searchlight Pictures

    All music used is licensed by (SS) or via Creative Commons (CC) Attribution License (
    ► Cylinder Four by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license:
    ► Cylinder Five by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license:
    ► We Were Never Meant to Live Here by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license:
    ► "Painted Deserts" by Shimmer, licensed through
    ► Stories About The World That Once Was by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license:
    ► The Sun is Scheduled to Come Out Tomorrow by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license:

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    #IsTheSunUnusual #RareSun #CoolWorlds
  • Runtime : 23:6
  • is the sun rare rare sun rare sun hypothesis rare earth hypothesis is the sun special is the solar system special copernican principle principle of mediocrity astrobiology life in the universe astronomy astrophysics cool worlds lab professor kipping david kipping


  • kgbmicccp
    kgbmicccp   1 weeks ago

    I think Copernicus was Polish not German

  • rb clover
    rb clover   2 weeks ago

    Great explanation as always. - "<0.5% of stars can be considered sun like" ~ 500,000,000 sun like stars in the Milky Way. That is an awfully big number... not really rare....

  • Chase
    Chase   2 weeks ago

    I’m faded haha

  • Mandrak789
    Mandrak789   2 weeks ago

    Next: Rare Milky Way hypothesis.

  • John Doe
    John Doe   3 weeks ago

    It takes light millions of years to travel from center of the Sun to its surface.

  • Screww Googlle
    Screww Googlle   3 weeks ago

    If that was the real composition of the Sun... it would have to weigh 1000 X what is is estimated to weigh !The Sun is an Electrical Component of the Universal Electro-Magnetic Birkeland Current System that connects every single object in the Universe !

  • Dave from Devon
    Dave from Devon   3 weeks ago

    It takes s lot longer than 8 minutes for the photos created by fusing to reach us. They usually bounce around within the sun for thousands of years before they escape in order to begin the much easier 8 minutes trip to earth 😊

  • Nano Cology
    Nano Cology   3 weeks ago

    Oh thank you for this channel. On behalf of all those whose spiritual self is already out there exploring and colonising the galaxy, thank you

  • Phil Hemming
    Phil Hemming   3 weeks ago

    I could listen to you for hours, your the next Brian Cox

  • GistTech
    GistTech   3 weeks ago

    I respect and love your quality content

  • Peter k
    Peter k   3 weeks ago

    Nicolaus Copernicus was Polish not German.

  • Shawn Carnes
    Shawn Carnes   3 weeks ago

    Prof might be a D&D player or at least a gamer of some sort. After speaking briefly about the Kepler mission he called the aside a “side quest”

  • Left Hook
    Left Hook   3 weeks ago

    Oh gee....yet ANOTHER "coincidence" favorable for life on Earth.How many "coincidences" will it take before one comes to the conclusion that there is a God, or creator being ?

  • Papa H Sekyiamah
    Papa H Sekyiamah   3 weeks ago

    Watched this 3 times. So simple and well done. The sheer combination of things that have come together just right to make a stable earth and sentient life is amazing. Even if we find that to be common in the universe , still AMAZING!

  • Reaper
    Reaper   3 weeks ago

    It’s pretty sunusual if you ask me.

  • Ihab A.
    Ihab A.   4 weeks ago

    What a great video and a great content of the channel! Thank you!

  • Benedick McIntosh
    Benedick McIntosh   4 weeks ago

    Five billion years? How do they know that. Guess work just add a number who is going to question that theory. Five billion years old sun. And who placed it there?.

  • Maan Mallak
    Maan Mallak   4 weeks ago

    سبحان الله العظيم 🌺

  • Ryan Smith
    Ryan Smith   4 weeks ago

    I am specialI'm not special but the planet is specialThe planet isn't special but the sun is special <--- you are hereThe sun isn't special but the galaxy is specialThe galaxy isn't special but the universe is specialThe universe isn't special

  • BlackSuave44
    BlackSuave44   1 months ago

    I LOOOOOVE the sun. It is the ONE thing I truly worship and thank over and over for all that it gives us.

  • Tyler Slagel
    Tyler Slagel   1 months ago

    Kelvin is not stated with the degree symbol. It is just 100 kelvin. Not 100 degrees kelvin.

  • common SCIENCE
    common SCIENCE   1 months ago

    We want to feel special and thats why all things related with us are special although dispassionately looking "what is not special "?

  • Ron Feltner
    Ron Feltner   1 months ago

    Living on a rare earth orbiting a rare star means intelligent life is rare.

  • Peter Jongsma
    Peter Jongsma   1 months ago

    Stop talking about demotion.We're discovering greater and greater glories.Just means we're ascending, not standing still.Mankind is not mediocre.

  • Ian
    Ian   1 months ago

    Big bang theory, everywhere is point zero!

  • Smurves
    Smurves   1 months ago

    If there is life on other planetsHow likely would it be for those lifeforms to evolve intelligence somehow?Who knows we might truly be one of a kind

  • Arnold Clarke
    Arnold Clarke   1 months ago

    Unusual in that it’s no 93 million miles away. Look at it, just look at it. ImMust be inside the Earth.

  • Ted Marley
    Ted Marley   1 months ago

    Class is in session 😎🔥 listen to the professor 🌍

  • Charlotte Raven
    Charlotte Raven   1 months ago

    The late ex-husband amazingly attack because tailor infrequently rot afore a elated specialist. zippy, successful cherry

  • Bradley Heatherly
    Bradley Heatherly   1 months ago

    I made it 15 secs in...had to stop. Get your damn numbers right "Cool Worlds". it's not 100 mil, it's 93 mil. It's pretty important to get that right because another measurement has been created by that - the AU (Astronomical Unit).