By: Ellie Chandler
All of The Sun's Layers
The Sun's Core
The sun's core is the hot, burning center of the sun. The core is the source of all the Sun's energy. The core is extremely hot and has a temperature of about 15 million degrees Kelvin. Despite popular belief, the Sun's core is molten, it is tightly packed and dense. This creates the perfect environment for nuclear reactions which give the sun its energy.
The Sun's Radiative Zone
The sun's energy reaches Earth through electromagnetic waves: radiation. Intact atoms in the radiative zone absorb the energy, store it for a little while, and then release it as new radiation. This is how the energy found in the core is passed from atom to atom. The radiative zone of the sun is slightly cooler than the sun (this is what allows certain atoms to remain intact).
The Sun's Convective Zone
The energy that originated in the core and passed through the radiative zone, now finds itself in the sun's convective zone. In order for this energy to continue on its journey to the surface of the sun, it must travel in another form: convection. The switch to convection is due to the fact that the convective zone is significantly cooler than the radiative zone or the core. The convective zone is about 2 million degrees Kelvin.
The Sun's Photosphere
The sun's photosphere is often referred to as the surface of the sun. It is visible to the eye when using a filtered telescope. Scientists study the photosphere using telescopes and radiation detectors. When you view the sun through a filtered telescope, you can see convection bubbles (much like the top of a boiling pan of water) on the surface of the sun!
The Sun's Chromosphere
The sun's chromosphere is the layer above the photosphere. It is a layer of gas; approximately 2000 km thick. This gas appears as a red glow around the sun that is nearly transparent. This red glow is what gives the chromosphere its name (color-sphere).
The Sun's Corona
The sun's corona is the outermost layer of the sun. It name means crown. This name is derived from the crown like appearance evident only during a total solar eclipse. In fact, the only time the corona is visible to the human eye is during a solar eclipse.
The Sun's Sunspots
Sunspots are dark spots that appear on the surface of the sun. They are noticeable because they appear darker than the rest of the sun's surface. This difference in shading is due to the fact that sunspots are cooler than the rest of the sun's surface. All though it isn't certain, sunspots appear to occur in eleven year cycles.
Solar prominences are giant arches of glowing gases that extend outward from the sun.
Solar flares are explosions that occur on the surface of the sun. These flares often will occur next to or near a sunspot.
The Aurora is a light show that is caused by the collision of electrically charged particles released from the sun.