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Astronomy Chapter 10

The temperature of the Sun's photosphere is

5800 K

What is a spicule on the Sun?

jet of rising gas in the chromosphere

The rotation of the Sun is

fastest at the equator, slower at mid-latitudes, and slowest near the poles

What is a plage?

bright area in the chromosphere

What is the energy source for the Sun?

thermonuclear fusion in the core

What is the corona on the Sun?

Sun's outer atmosphere

In the thermonuclear process that is thought to heat the Sun, the nuclei of which chemical elements are converted to other nuclei to produce the requisite energy?

Hydrogen is converted to helium

How long does a typical flare on the Sun last?

less than an hour

The solar wind is

a gentle flow of solar material, mostly protons and electrons, that is always moving outward from the Sun

The photosphere of the Sun is the

visible "surface" of the Sun

The Sun sends charged particles toward Earth where they contribute to the aurora. Each of the following events contributes substantially to this outflow of particles except one. Which is the exception?


What is a prominence on the Sun?

large loop of gas supported by magnetic fields

The major feature that distinguishes a sunspot from other regions on the Sun is

its very powerful magnetic field

Just outside the radiation zone lies the

convection zone

What are the most energetic eruptive events to occur on the Sun?

coronal mass ejections

What is the rotation period of the Sun?

about one rotation per month

What is nuclear fusion?

two nuclei sticking together to form a new, heavier nucleus

What is the average length of time from one maximum in the number of sunspots on the Sun to the next maximum?

11 years

How much longer can the Sun continue to generate energy by nuclear reactions in its core?

about 5 billion years

A positron is a

positively charged electron

Astronomers use the word "limb" to refer to what part of a celestial body?


The centers of the granular cells on the surface of the Sun appear to be brighter than the edges of the cells because

the centers are hotter than the edges

Where is the chromosphere on the Sun?

The chromosphere is the layer above the visible surface of the Sun

What is the cause of the sunspot cycle on the Sun?

Subsurface magnetic fields are twisted by the Sun's differential rotation and break through the surface as sunspots, then gradually cancel each other and return below the surface

Sunspots appear dark because they

are cooler than the surrounding surface

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