Our yellow star

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The core of the sun extends from center of the sun to about .2 or .25 of the sun's radius. The core is made of hot, dense gas in a plasmic state. The core contains 34% of the sun's mass. The core generates 99% of the fusion power of the sun, using hydrogen and helium atoms. The temperature is 15,000,000 degrees Celsius.

Radiative Zone

The radiative zone is the layer of the sun where heat is primarily transported from the interior to the exterior. Heat is transported by radiation, not convection in this layer. As you get farther from the core the temperature drops from about 12600000 to 3600000 degrees Fahrenheit.

convective zone

The convective zone is the layer of the sun where the density of plasma is low enough to convect. Energy is transported from this layer to the photosphere. It is right below the photosphere and is about 3.5 million degrees.


The photosphere is considered the surface of the sun. This is where light is radiated. Like the rest of the sun it is mostly composed of helium and hydrogen. There is also account of oxygen (about 1% of the Sun's mass), carbon (0.3%), neon (0.2%), and iron (0.2%). The photosphere has a temperature around 4,500 to 6,000 K.


The chromosphere is the second out of the three main layers in the Sun's atmosphere. It is roughly 2,000 kilometers deep and is about 7800 degrees Fahrenheit. The density of the chromosphere is very low. This makes the chromosphere usually invisible and it can be seen only in a total eclipse, where its reddish color is revealed. However, without special equipment, the chromosphere cannot be seen due to the overwhelming brightness of the photosphere.


A corona is an aura of plasma that surrounds the sun and other celestial bodies. The Sun's corona extends into space and is easily seen during a total solar eclipse, but it is also observable with a coronagraph. The temperature here is extremely hotter than the chromosphere and photosphere, at 3.5 million degrees Fahrenheit.


Sunspots are temporary phenomena on the photosphere that appear as dark spots. They have a reduced surface temperature compared to the surrounding photosphere. The occur 11-year solar cycle. Sunspots may last anywhere from a few days to a few months, but eventually disappear.


A prominence is a large, gaseous feature extending out from the Sun's surface, usually in a loop.The glowing loop is plasma, hot gas made of electrically charged hydrogen and helium. An erupting prominence occurs when a structure becomes unstable and busts outward, releasing the plasma.


A solar flare is a flash of brightness observed near the Sun's surface. It involves a broad spectrum of emissions, requiring an extreme energy release. The flare ejects clouds of electrons, ions, and atoms through the corona, into space. These clouds typically reach Earth a day or two afterwards.


An aurora is a natural light display in the sky. Auroras are produced when the magnetosphere is disturbed by the solar wind that the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma, primarily in the form of electrons and protons, precipitate the upper atmosphere, where their energy is lost. The result emits light of varying color and complexity.
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