THE NEAREST STAR - o Core temperature: 15 million K (Kelvin...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
THE NEAREST STAR: THE RAGING SUN The Sun: From the Outside o Goldilocks star: not too hot, not too cool o Spheroidal ball of plasma (ionized gas: electrons in nuclei of gas move independently) o Source of (nearly) all energy on Earth o Stability for life o Constant surface changes/eruptions Not a perfect sphere but very close o Average shape but moves caused by strong magnetic ridges in the vicinity of sun spots o Radius: 696000 km 109 times the radius of the Earth o Mass 2 x 10^33 grams o Luminosity: 3.8 x 10^26 watts o Composition: 70% Hydrogen 28% helium 2% heavier elements o Rotation Rate: 25 days(equator) to 30 days(poles) o Surface temperature: 5800 K; 4000 K sunspots
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: o Core temperature: 15 million K (Kelvin add 273 to Celcius) 0 degrees K: can’t go lower, absolute scale • The Solar Exterior o We observe the Sun’s atmosphere o The sun’s atmosphere has 3 layers o Lowest layer is the photosphere: layer we “see” Produces visible light o Just above the photosphere is the chromosphere (ultraviolet light) o Above the chromosphere is the corona (UV/X-Ray radiation) o Only external part of any star we can observe o Can see detail of sun, good opportunity for us to learn about stars Have to indirectly determine what’s going on in the interior...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 03/16/2011 for the course ASTRO 2 taught by Professor Corcoran during the Spring '11 term at GWU.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online