The Sun - Cabrillo College

The Sun A typical Star Heres the Story well Unfold for you Nuclear power and the suns radiation

The layers of the sun; core, radiative zone, convective zone, photosphere, chromosphere, and corona

Sunspots and magnetic fields, the sunspot cycle Solar activity and how it influences the Earth

Gravity vs. pressure

A Star: A Balance between Gravity and Pressure Self-regulating

Higher fusion rate would expand star, lowering cores self-gravity and thence density, pressure,

temperature and thus lowering fusion rate. And vice versa

Solar spectrum (from eschelle spectrograph) The Sun Nuclear Powered

Core: T>10M Kelvin, high speed protons moving so fast they approach to within 10-13 cm, leading to hydrogen fusion into helium

Fusion: the Strong Nuclear Force overcomes EM repulsion of protons 4H He + 2 gamma rays + 2 neutrinos

Gamma rays random-walk their way to the surface takes ~50,000 years! distributing their energy along the way, wavelength lengthening to eventually

become visible light at the surface Fusion Temp; strong vs em

Layers of the sun

Sun layers granulation


Sun globe in Halpha Chromosphere all around


Eclipse chromosphere Diamond ring

Total eclipse corona

Eclipse composite Sunspots optical

Sunspot group optical

Sunspots Zeeman Effect: splitting of spectral lines into triplets, due to the gas being imbedded within a magnetic

field Think of magnetic field lines like sticky rubber bands Charged particles in a magnetic field feel a force

sideways to their motion, binding the gas to the field. Sunspots are like magnetic scabs of gas unable to be recirculated to lower, hotter levels. They are

bound to the magnetic fields in the photosphere, cooling as they radiate to the cold universe, and hence cool and darken.

Vertical structure of a sunspot Babcock slide

Differential Rotation intensified and concentrates magnetic field energy, producing sunspots

Marching sunspots

Sun pic at max,min Sunspot cycle #vs time

Sunspot cycle 1760-1965

Ha loop Xray loops

Xrays- chromospheric mag field loops

Magnetic field spaghetti!

Powerful solar flare Xray sun

Total eclipse corona

Eclipse corona2 solarwind

Earth magnetosphere

EarthOnionMagField Aurorae GiNormous

Flourescent Lights! Caused when high speed solar wind particles impact the Earths atmosphere

Collisionally excites the nitrogen and oxygen atoms These atoms then de-excite (electrons fall

back down through the energy levels) giving off photons Exactly the same as how flourescent lights

work! greenpurpleAurora

Aurora barn

Aurorachu Alaska Aurora westlake

Aurora lindersen

Aurora hoffman Aurora c/IkeyaZhang

Aurora ewoldt

Aurora people Aurora tricolor

Aurora tower

Aurora from space iss Jupiter aurora

Saturn aurorae

cme Comet NEAT kinky tail

SOHO wide angle

SOHO+CMD+NEAT Sun Halpha + big prominence

Sun halpha + big prom; later

heliopause The Genesis Mission

(no, not the hokey StarTrek thing) Spacecraft spent months out in interplanetary space, capturing particles

from the solar wind and from interstellar space Then, brought them back to earth

But, there was this parachute problem Genisis spacecraft crash site

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