The Sun

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					The Sun
       Sun vs. Earth
• Sun as wide as 109 Earths.
• Sun’s volume is 1.25 million
  times greater.
• Sun has 332,000 times more
• Sun has only ¼ the density.
        Sun’s Layers
• Photosphere
  –Photos = light Sphere = ball
  –Visible “surface” made of gas
  –Has small, bright markings
   called granules
  –Granules make the surface
   appear to boil
         Sun’s Layers
• Chromosphere
  –First layer of Sun’s
  –Can only be seen during a total
   solar eclipse or by blocking out
   the light from the photosphere
  –A few thousand kilometers thick
          Sun’s Layers
• Corona
  – Means “crown”
  – Outermost layer of Sun’s
  – Only visible when photosphere is
  – Very weak, about half the brightness
    of a full moon
  – Extends a million kilometers from Sun
             Active Sun
• Sun is very active
• The Sun’s equator rotates faster (25 days)
  then areas near the top and bottom (33
• Sunspots, prominences, and solar flares
  are proof of activity
         Active Sun
• Sunspots
  –Dark areas on the Sun’s
   surface that are 1500k cooler
   then the surrounding surface
         Active Sun
• Prominences
  –Huge cloudlike structures
   made of gas that explode
   from the Sun’s surface at
   1000 kilometers per second
        Active Sun
• Solar Flares
  –Brief outbursts where
   enormous amounts of energy
   are released
          The Solar Interior
• Nuclear Fusion
  Energy = (mass X speed of light)2 or E=mc2
  – Speed of light = 300,000km/s
  – Because the speed of light is so large, a
    small amount of hydrogen converted
    into Helium creates an enormous
    amount of energy
  – Converting the amount of hydrogen that
    could fit on the head of a pin into Helium
    releases more energy then burning
    thousands of tons of coal

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