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Physics of the Sun

The Center of our Solar System


on 14 June 2013

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Transcript of Physics of the Sun

What is the Sun?
Inner Domain
Inner Domain
Outer Domain
Radiative Zone:
Convective Zone:
Interface (Tachocline) Layer:
The Center of our Solar System
• G-type main-sequence star
• Earth's source of heat, sustaining life
• Completely made up of gases
Outer Domain
Outer Domain:
Outer Domain:
• Composed mainly of hydrogen:
approximately 72%
• Temperature: 15,000,000 K
• Creates almost all of the sun's energy
• Made up of plasma: hot, dense gas
• Nuclear fusion occurs: hydrogen nuclei collide forming helium nuclei
Inner Domain
• Photons, particles of light, travel through dense material (at the speed of light)
• Emits radiation that disperses outward
as gamma rays and x-rays
• Temperature: 7,000,000 K
dropping to 2,000,000 K
• Photons take millions of years to reach
the next, outer layer
Inner Domain
• Radiative zone's calm motions transition to
the convective zone's fluid motions
• Thin layer between the radiative zone and the convective zone
• Energy carried by motion in the gases
transports to the exterior by convection
• Temperature: 2,000,000 K
• Convection currents develop when hot gas
from the radiative zone rises and then sinks
as the convective zone cools it
• Heat is trapped here, making fluid convect
• Visible surface of the sun where visible
white light is emitted
•Limb darkening: the sun's edges are dimmer because the temperature decreases as the distance from the center increases
• Temperature: 6,000 K
• Granules: rising and falling gas
Sun Spots:
• Powerful magnetic fields around sunspots cause “solar storms” like solar flares
• Sun spots: cooler areas
that appear dark because of
their interaction with the
sun’s magnetic field
• Temperature: 4,000 K which is lower than their surroundings
of about 5,800 K

Umbra: darker,
inner section
Penumbra: lighter,
outer section
• Cycle takes an average of
eleven years

• Form to be bigger than Earth
and sometimes Jupiter
• Sun's magnetic field is thought to be
generated here
Outer Domain
• High temperatures cause hydrogen to
emit white light as a pink or red color
• Only seen during total eclipses when the photosphere’s light is blocked
• Temperature: 6,000 K increasing
to 20,000 K
• Only seen during total eclipses when
photosphere’s light is blocked
•Temperature: 1,000,000 K to 3,000,000 K
• Has a larger volume than the sun but is about a million times less bright
• Heat's source is unknown
Solar Structure
Corona's Solar Wind:
the Earth's magnetic field working
against a
solar wind
a solar wind
reaching as far
as the Earth
• Solar Wind: collection of
charged electrons and protons
that eject into space from the corona
• Particles escape the sun's gravity because of their high kinetic energy/temperature
• Sun's loss of material is greater than 1 million tons per second, which is insignificant to the total mass
• Travels about 400 km/s
• Produce the Aurora Borealis ("The
Northern Lights") and the tails of comets

• Sunlight takes around 8.3 minutes to reach the Earth
• The sun drives the water cycle
• The sun allows the Earth to have seasons
Outer Domain
Outer Domain
Works Cited
Physics and Chemistry: Sun
Solar Physics
Space Station Info ::
Space Solar System :: Layers Of Sun
• c
The Structure of the Sun
Full transcript