The sun's structure is made up of four layers. The dense, heated core is located in the very center. There are two layers around the core: a dense layer called the radiative zone and a narrower, colder layer called the convective zone. The photosphere, the sun's surface layer, surrounds all of them.
The solar radiation that reaches the earth comes in bundles called rays. These are divided into three groups: visible light rays, infrared rays, and ultraviolet rays. Only visible light rays can reach the ground and cause physical effects. In fact, this is why sunlight is useful for photosynthesis; plants use it to produce food using their own energy stored in chemical bonds. Infrared and ultraviolet rays are too heat or energetic for most atoms and molecules; they cannot be transmitted through air or glass, for example, so they do not reach the ground.
Visible light rays are also responsible for some harmful effects as well. For example, they cause fireballs after sunset or during storms when clouds are present. The color of these fireballs is determined by the type of molecule that is broken down when exposed to visible light rays. Green trees release oxygen molecules when they are cut down. Trees take in carbon dioxide during their lifetime and store it inside their trunks and roots. When they are felled or burned, however, all of this carbon dioxide is released back into the atmosphere where it contributes to global warming.
The layers of the Sun are as follows, from the center out: the solar interior is made up of the core (which occupies the innermost quarter or so of the Sun's radius), the radiative zone, and the convective zone; then there is the visible surface known as the photosphere; the chromosphere; and finally the outermost...
The layers of the Sun as seen in different wavelengths of light. The colors indicate what temperature these regions are at. The dark red color indicates that these areas of the Sun are very hot, over 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit (3,528 degrees Celsius). The white color shows that these regions are about 5,500 degrees F (2,987 C). , while other parts of the photosphere are around 5,800 degrees F (3,040 C). Below the photosphere is the chromosphere, which is about 1,200 degrees F (748 C). , and below that is the core of the Sun, which is about 6,500 degrees F (3,328 C).
Layers of the Sun as seen by various instruments on board spacecraft.
The Sun, like a golf ball, has layers: a core, a surface, and surrounding atmospheric layers, each with its own layers. The Sun's core temperature is around 27 million degrees Fahrenheit (F).
Astronomers can study stars by observing their effect on other objects. For example, they can see the orbit of planets around their star; this tells us about the planet and its star. Astronomers also look at the spectrum of a star to learn what elements are present in its atmosphere. They can tell how many atoms there are of each element in the star's atmosphere by comparing its spectrum with that of a star known to have only one type of atom in its atmosphere.
Stars are usually thought of as large balls of hot gas. But they are actually made out of the same material as everything else in the universe-even you and me! They are just very massive versions of the same objects that are found inside galaxies or within a galaxy like our own. A star's mass ranges from about 5 to over 50 times the mass of the Sun. Even though stars are composed of mostly hydrogen and helium, they can also contain small amounts of metals such as iron, silicon, magnesium, aluminum, calcium, and potassium. These metals were once part of the interstellar medium and now form parts of planets.