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Does the sun have a solid(like) surface?

Olivia Thompson Olivia Thompson Nov 28, 2017 · 1 min read
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The sun is often referred to as a massive ball of fire but is it a solid surface like the earth and other planets in our solar system? The answer is no. The sun, unlike the solid planets, is composed of gas mainly hydrogen and helium that is so hot and compressed that it behaves like a fluid.

The sun’s outermost layer, the visible surface we see, is called the photosphere, and it is not solid. It is a layer of gas with a thickness of around 300 miles, which contains convection currents that carry hot gases upwards to the surface, where they cool and sink back down into the sun.

The photosphere also has a granulated appearance, which is caused by the rising and sinking of hot and cool gases. These granules can be seen through a telescope and gives the sun its unique texture.

Beyond the photosphere is the chromosphere, which is a thin layer of gas that is slightly hotter than the photosphere. This layer is responsible for the beautiful solar flares that we see off the sun’s edges during a solar eclipse.

The outermost layer of the sun is called the corona, and it is the thinnest layer of the sun, extending up to several million miles above the chromosphere. It is mostly made up of charged particles and is incredibly hot, reaching temperatures of over a million degrees Celsius.

The sun’s lack of a solid surface also means that it does not spin uniformly. The equator spins faster than the poles, and this movement creates magnetic fields, which can cause sunspots and solar flares.

In conclusion, the sun does not have a solid surface like the earth and other planets in our solar system. It is mainly composed of gas that is so hot and compressed it behaves like a fluid. The sun’s outermost visible layer is called the photosphere, which has a granulated appearance, and beyond that is the chromosphere and the corona. The sun’s lack of a solid surface and its unique structure make it the incredible and fascinating star that it is.

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Olivia Thompson
Written by Olivia Thompson
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