The Sun - The Sun's Surface The deepest layer of the Sun...

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The Sun's Surface The deepest layer of the Sun you can see is the photosphere . The word ``photosphere'' means ``light sphere''. It is called the ``surface'' of the Sun because at the top of it, the photons are finally able to escape to space. The photosphere is about 500 kilometers thick. Remember that the Sun is totally gaseous, so the surface is not something you could land or float on. It is a dense enough gas that you cannot see through it. It emits a continuous spectrum. Several methods of measuring the temperature all determine that the Sun's photosphere has a temperature of about 5840 K. Measuring the Sun's Temperature One method, called Wien's law , uses the wavelength of the peak emission, peak , in the Sun's continuous spectrum. The temperature in Kelvin = 2.9 × 10 6 nanometers/ peak . Another method uses the flux of energy reaching the Earth and the inverse square law. Recall from the Stellar Properties chapter that the flux is the amount of energy passing through a unit area (e.g., 1 meter 2 ) every second. From the
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