The Sun: Not Just Our Star


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Powerpoint presentation for a potential 5th grade class. Sun facts and information

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The Sun: Not Just Our Star

  1. 1. Not Just Our Star Machone’ Hicks Jefferson School Grade 5 The Sun
  2. 2. Our Big Bright Star <ul><li>The sun is a huge glowing ball at the center of our solar system that completes one rotation in about a month </li></ul><ul><li>Provides light, heat and other energy to Earth </li></ul><ul><li>Made up of entirely of gas: hydrogen, helium & 7 other elements </li></ul><ul><li>Sun’s radius is about 432,000 miles which is about 109 times Earth’s radius </li></ul>
  3. 3. More Sun Facts… <ul><li>Planets each orbit the sun rotating on their axes as they do so in almost circular orbits </li></ul><ul><li>The sun was born about 4.6 billion years ago </li></ul><ul><li>Has enough nuclear fuel to remain much as it is for another 5 billion years before becoming a red giant. </li></ul><ul><li>Most of energy emitted is visible by light an infrared rays we feel as heat. Both are forms of electromagnetic radiation </li></ul><ul><li>It’s color spans all the colors of the rainbow, but what we see are the sun’s radiation in a yellow or orange. However, sunlight is white! </li></ul><ul><li>It’s colors can be viewed using a prism to separate and spread the colors out </li></ul>
  4. 4. Electromagnetic Radiation <ul><li>Consists of electrical and magnetic energy </li></ul><ul><li>Can be thought of as waves of energy or particle-like “packets” of energy called photons </li></ul><ul><li>6 spans of energy span the entire spectrum: radio waves, infrared waves, visible light, ultraviolet rays, X rays and gamma rays </li></ul>
  5. 5. Nuclear Fusion <ul><li>Occurs in the core of the sun because it is tremendously hot and dense </li></ul><ul><li>Most common fusion process in the sun is called the proton-proton chain, where single protons of hydrogen are forced together one at a time </li></ul>
  6. 6. From the inside out… <ul><li>Inside and most of its’ atmosphere consist of plasma </li></ul><ul><li>Plasma is a gas whose temperature has been raised to such a high level it is sensitive to magnetism </li></ul><ul><li>Solar interior consist of the core, radiative zone & convection zone </li></ul>
  7. 7. The outer layers… <ul><li>Photosphere: lowest layer that emits the light we see and is about 300 miles thick </li></ul><ul><li>Chromosphere: made up entirely of spike shaped structures called spicules </li></ul><ul><li>Transition region: receives much of its energy from the overlying corona. Emits most light in the ultraviolet spectrum </li></ul><ul><li>Corona: temperature is greater that 500,000K. Consists of loops and streams of ionized gas. The flow of coronal gas into space is known as solar wind </li></ul>
  8. 8. What’s a sunspot? <ul><li>Sunspots are dark, usually circular features on the solar surface. </li></ul><ul><li>Form where denser bundles of magnetic field lines from the solar interior break through the surface </li></ul>
  9. 9. Sun vs. the “other” stars <ul><li>Less than 5% of the stars in the Milky Way are brighter or more massive than the sun </li></ul><ul><li>Some are more than 100,000 tunes as bright and 100 times its’ mass </li></ul><ul><li>Some are 1/10,000 as bright as the sun and as little as 7/100 of its’ mass </li></ul>
  10. 10. Natural Phenomenon <ul><li>Solar eclipses occur when the moon’s shadow covers Earth’s surface during the new moon and is very brief </li></ul><ul><li>The “halo” seen during this brief phenomena is the sun’s corona </li></ul><ul><li>Next solar eclipse can be seen July 22, 2009 </li></ul>
  11. 11. Rises in the East, Sets in the West