Layers Of The Sun

SUN: Layers of The Sun

The Sun is the largest celestial body in our solar system, with an extremely high temperature ranging from 5000° to 6000° Celsius. Despite being significantly distant from Earth, its light takes approximately 8 minutes to reach us, preventing any direct destructive impact. While it may appear as a simple ball of gases, the Sun is composed of six layers, each with a distinct function and fascinating hidden facts.

Six layers of the Sun are following;

  • Corona
  • Chromosphere
  • Photosphere
  • Convective zone
  • Radiative zone
  • Core

Corona:

The outermost layer of the Sun is the Corona. The term “corona” is derived from the word “crown” because this layer has a crown-like structure. Normally, this layer is not visible to us, but during a total solar eclipse, the corona can be observed. While the Sun’s temperature is 5500 degrees Celsius, an intriguing fact about the corona is that its temperature is millions of times hotter than the Sun. Scientists are still researching the reasons behind this phenomenon.The charged particles and plasma emitted from the Corona are responsible for the solar winds. When these charged particles interact with Earth’s north and south poles, it leads to the creation of beautiful auroras, such as the aurora borealis. The Corona is also referred to as the Sun’s atmosphere; it is extremely bright and has a density 10 million times less than that of the Sun. The coronal holes observed on the Sun are located in this layer and can be considered cooler parts of the Sun.

Chromosphere:

The Chromosphere is the Sun’s second layer, situated between the photosphere and the corona. It is a thin layer of gases with a temperature ranging from approximately 3600 to 3700 degrees Celsius. The height of the chromosphere extends from 3000 to 5000 kilometers. Important solar activities occur in this layer, and researchers and scientists study solar dynamics happening in the chromosphere to gain insights into solar phenomena.

Photosphere:

The Photosphere is the outermost layer of the Sun, and its name signifies the “sphere of light.” It marks the beginning of the Sun’s main surface, distinct from the atmospheric layers of the corona and chromosphere. This thin layer extends from 100 to 400 kilometers with a density of 0.01% compared to Earth’s atmosphere. The temperature of the photosphere ranges from 5500 to 5800 Kelvin. The Photosphere plays a crucial role because it is the visible layer from Earth, and the Sunrays reaching Earth originate from the photosphere. Granules, small surface structures, are also visible on this layer.

Convective zone:

This layer is the fourth one from the Corona, situated between the photosphere and the radiative zone. Convection is a process where, for example, in a boiling pot of water, the hot boiling water tends to rise upwards, while the colder part above it tends to descend. Similarly, in the Sun, convection involves convective currents transporting energy and heat from the core to the convective zone, bridging the gap between the photosphere and the radiative zone. It then releases its heat there, cools down, and returns through convective currents to the core. In this convection process, significant heat is released, resulting in the temperature of the convective zone reaching 2 million Celsius.

Radiative zone:

The Radiative Zone is the second-to-last layer of the Sun, located between the core and the convective zone, with a width of 374,977 kilometers. Despite having a lower temperature than the core, it remains extremely hot, ranging from 2 million to 7 million Celsius. In this layer, light, which consists of small particles called photons, is initially absorbed and then re-emitted. The radiative zone is highly dense, with a density of 20 grams per meter cube, causing light to take around 1000 years to reach from the core to the surface due to numerous photon interactions.

Core:

The Core is the central and powerhouse of the Sun, serving as its innermost layer. The temperature in the core is exceptionally high, reaching 15 million Celsius. It is in the core that the process of nuclear fusion takes place, generating intense heat. This heat leads to the collapse of hydrogen nuclei, converting them into helium and producing both heat and light. The core experiences tremendous pressure due to the five layers above it.

Conclusion:

So these are the layers of Sun , and each layer has a different temperature and properties. It is known after studying each layer that nuclear fusion in the Sun doesn’t occur throughout the entire sun but specifically in the innermost layer called the core. Additionally, there are two layers that are not visible to the naked eye from Earth and can only be observed through a solar eclipse or specific instruments.

 

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