Monday, November 16, 2009

What does the surface of Sun look like?

The Sun, gigantic central star in our solar system that enables life on our planet has always been fascinating topic to many scientists around the globe. Gigantic size, and extreme temperatures are two main characteristics our Sun is famous for but how you ever wondered what does the surface of the Sun look like? Here are some rather interesting data you might not know.

First of all Sun has grainy surface structure which is the result of different gases that rise and sink. On the ground, dark spots appear and disappear, clouds of matter dart up, and all is guided by strong magnetic fields. The Sun appears to be yellow from our planet but actually the color of the Sun is white, it only appears yellow to us because of atmospheric scattering.

The Sun, unlike Earth and other rocky planets, does not have a definite boundary, and in its outer parts the density of its gases drops approximately exponentially with increasing distance from its center. The visible surface of the sun is called photosphere. Temperature at Sun's surface are in average around 5800 K, and the coldest places on Sun have temperatures around 3800 K (sunspots).

Sunspots that can even have diameter up to 50,000 km are significantly cooler regions at the surface of the Sun that have something to do with variations in magnetic field, though the exact reasons for sunspots have not yet been explained.

Though photosphere is usually referred to as the Sun's surface it has to be said that is actually not exactly right because the Sun's photosphere is nothing but some form of liquid plasma layer made of neon that covers the actual surface of the sun.

The Sun photosphere covers the actual surface of the Sun because photosphere is extremely bright, and therefore able to cover the darker, more rigid Sun's surface. The actual surface layer of the Sun would be probably best described as the calcium-ferrite surface layer.

Many things that happen on the Sun, are still great mystery to scientists, and science has only explained some of them, while other Sun's mysteries still wait to be answered. The thing about Sun that occupies scientists the most is Sun's magnetic field, that is not only extremely powerful, but also operates highly complicated, opening door for many different scientific theories and thesis.