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Chapter 3, section 2 of Astronomy book
The Sun: Our Very Own Star
Terms in this set (7)
hWhat is the structure and atmosphere of the sun?
* The corona forms the sun's outer atmosphere
*. The chromosphere is a thin layer below the corona - only 30,000 km thick
*.The photosphere is the visible part of the sun that we can see from earth
* The convective zone is a region about 200,000 kms thick where gases circulate
* The radiative zone is a very dense region about 300,000 km thick
* The core is at the center of the sun. This is where the sun's energy is produced.
How is energy produced in the sun?
Nuclear fusion - The process by which two or more low-mass nuclei join together, or fuse, to form another nucleus. In this way, four hydrogen nuclei can fuse to form a single nucleus of helium. During the process, energy is produced. Scientists now know that the sun gets its energy from nuclear fusion.
Where do the magnetic fields of the sun come from?
Thermal energy moves from the sun's interior by the circulation of gases in the convective zone. This movement of energy causes the gas in the photosphere to boil and churn. This circulation, combined with the sun's rotation, creates magnetic fields.
Cooler, dark spots of the photosphere of the sun. Sunspots can vary in shape and size. Some sunspots can be as large as 50,000 miles in diameter.
How long is the sunspot cycle?
*Regions of extremely high temperature and brightness that develop on the sun's surface.
*Solar flares erupt and send huge streams of electrically charged particles into the solar system.
*Solar flares can extend upward several thousand kilometers within minutes.
Solar flares are usually associated with sunspots and can interrupt radio communications on Earth and in orbit.
Scientists are trying to find ways to give advance warning of solar flares.
The sun is a large ball of gas made mostly of hydrogen and helium. The sun consists of many layers.
• The sun's energy comes from nuclear fusion that takes place in the center of the sun.
• The visible surface of the sun, or the photosphere, is very active.
• Sunspots and solar flares are the result of the sun's magnetic fields that reach space.
• Sunspot activity may affect Earth's climate, and solar flares can interact with Earth's atmosphere.
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