THE NEAREST STAR

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

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

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