Fig5_5 Anatomy of the Sun

Fig5_5 Anatomy of the Sun

Fig. 5.5 . The Sun is an incandescent ball of ionized gas powered by the fusion of hydrogen in its core. As shown in this interior cross-section, energy produced by nuclear fusion is transported outward, first by countless absorptions and emissions within the radiative zone, and then by convection. The visible disk of the Sun, called the photosphere, contains dark sunspots, which are Earth-sized regions of intense magnetic fields. A transparent atmosphere envelops the photosphere, including the low-lying chomosphere with its jet-like spicules and the million-degree corona that contains holes with open magnetic fields, the source of the high-speed solar wind. Loops of closed magnetic fields constrain and suspend the hot million-degree gas within coronal loops and cooler material in prominences.

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University