You are watching: Why does the sun appear to have a sharp edge
Astronomy Inquiry Of The Week - Does The Sun Have A Surfaceby Staff WritersBonn, Germany (SPX) Jun 17, 2009
This photo, from the EIT(Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope) instrument on the SOHO (Solar and also Heliospheric Observatory) area probe, mirrors the rough features of the chromosphere. Credit: NASA.
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"Of course," we might answer, "what a question!" However, we need to also consider that our Sun - favor all other stars - is a ball of hot gas. This gas round, with a diameter of 1.4 million kilometres, is organized together by gravity alone. This suggests that the Sun does not have actually a firm surchallenge.Nevertheless, the Sun shows up to us as a shining sphere with a sharp edge. The factor for this is that the sunlight we observe without any type of aids originates in a relatively thin layer. This layer, well-known as the photospright here, is only a couple of hundred kilometres thick. It therefore provides feeling to talk about the visible surconfront of the Sun.The miscellaneous layers of the Sun"s atmosphereThe Sun"s surchallenge would no much longer look at all smooth and round if our eyes might perceive ultraviolet radiation and X-rays.In these radiation arrays it becomes clear just how the solar magnetic area repeatedly alters the form of the Sun"s atmosphere: features in motion on the Sun"s surface, explosions of radiation and also streams of matter which speed out right into space for tens of thousand also of kilometres. This layer of the Sun"s atmosphere, which have the right to be oboffered with ultraviolet and also X-ray telescopes, lies above the photospbelow and also is called the chromospbelow.The outerthe majority of layer of the Sun"s setting, the corona, have the right to only be checked out through the naked eye in the time of a complete solar eclipse. Then, the light from the photospright here is totally masked by the Moon. The corona is a "crvery own of rays" through a temperature of over a million degrees Celsius, which typically has actually an asymmetric develop - depending upon the Sun"s task.
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