Ever felt the burning in eyes while looking upwards? The bright Sun always amaze us in all the seasons.
The heart of our solar system, a yellow dwarf is a ball of gases. It is a nearly perfect sphere consisting of hot plasma. The morning star is the main source of energy for the earth. It has diameter about 1.39 million kilometers which is 109 times that of Earth. The sun is such huge that it has its mass of about 330,000 times that of Earth while it is 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System.
The Sun is burning now for more than 4.5 billion years providing heat and light to other planets. It has a group of gasses which has a majority of hydrogen consisting of approximate 73% and helium of approx. 25%. The remaining is of other heavier elements, including oxygen, neon, carbon and iron. The Sun’s power is about 386 billion billion mega Watts which is produced by nuclear fusion reactions. As it is immensely huge, it has immense gravity to hold the gases together. Besides these gases, its gravity is also used to hold all the planets in the orbit. It generates a magnetic field via a dynamo process. It is carried out in the solar system by the solar wind. It is a gigantic nuclear reactor.
The structure of the Sun has different layers:
- Core – This is the innermost region
- Radiative zone –In this layer energy transfer occurs by means of radiation
- Tachocline – This is the boundary region between the radiative and convective zones
- Convective zone: Place where convection occurs
- Photosphere – This is the deepest part of the Sun which we observe with visible light
- Atmosphere – It is a gaseous surrounding the Sun.
The outer layers of the Sun exhibit differential rotation. At the equator the surface rotates once every 25.4 days while near the poles it’s as much as 36 days. Wondering why is it like this? This differential behavior is because the Sun is not a solid body like the Earth. Also, there is an interaction between the Sun and Earth. No wonder we feel the seasons, ocean currents, weather, climate, radiation belts!