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When we see the sun from Earth, we are really only seeing the outer atmosphere of the sun
Sun is 4.6 BILLION years old and is about halfway through it’s life cycle
How does the sun get it’s energy?
2 or more low mass nuclei fuse to form another nucleus
Hydrogen molecules are both positive.
What happens with like charges?
What do they do on Earth?
Why do these Hydrogen molecules act differently at the sun?
The pressure and temperature at the sun is SO high that these molecules fuse together
Nuclear fusion occurs in the CORE of the sun
It takes millions of years to reach the sun’s surface.
Needs to travel through the radiative zone which is extremely dense.
Once it finally reaches the surface, it takes a mere 8.3 minutes to reach earth
Cool facts about the sun
Magnetic fields can slow down activity in certain areas causing them to be cooler than surrounding areas
Scientists have found a pattern that these cycles repeat about every 11 years
Sunspots and Earth
Patterns between high sunspot activity and cooler earth temperatures
Regions of extremely high temperature and brightness on the sun’s surface
Sends huge streams of electrically charged particles into the solar system
Can interfere radio communication, satellites, electricity
Charged ions in the atmosphere from the solar flares on the sun can cause auroras!
The sun-orbiting SOHO spacecraft captured this snapshot of the development of a coronal mass ejection (CME), an explosive sun storm. It shows erupting filaments lifting off the active solar surface and blasting enormous bubbles of magnetic plasma into space. CMEs occur anywhere from once a week to two or more times a day, and they can profoundly influence space weather.
This false-color image, taken by an amateur astronomer in Stuttgart, Germany, shows clouds of solar gas, called prominences, held just above the surface by the sun's magnetic field. A quiescent prominence typically lasts about a month and may erupt in a coronal mass ejection (CME) expelling hot gas into the solar system.
This SOHO image is in extreme-ultraviolet wavelengths, color-coded by temperature, with red showing the hottest. Why is the halo-like corona, visible from Earth only during a total eclipse, hundreds—even thousands—of times hotter than the sun's surface? That's one of the questions that keep scientists looking straight at the sun.
Pictures from http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/photos/sun-gallery/composite-sun.html