Unit 8 Lesson 3 The Sun. Copyright Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

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2 The Sun: The Center of Attention Where is the sun located? The sun rises every day in the east and appears to travel across the sky before it sets in the west. This led astronomers to believe the sun moved aroung the Earth. Nicolaus Copernicus developed a different model and proposed that Earth revolved around the sun. The sun is located at the center of the solar system.

3 Where is the sun located? The sun the largest and most massive object in the solar system, its gravitational attraction keeps the other objects in the solar system in orbit around it. The sun looks small from Earth because it is almost 150 million km away. All of the stars you can see, like the sun, are part of the Milky Way galaxy.

4 Where is the sun located? The Milky Way is located in the Local Group, a cluster of about 30 galaxies that is approximately ten million light-years across. The Andromeda galaxy is part of the local group, it is the closest large galaxy to the Milky Wat. The Local Group is in the part of the universe that astronomers know the most about.

5 Here Comes the Sun What are the physical properties of the sun? The sun is a hot ball of gas composed mostly of the elements hydrogen and helium. The sun formed about 4.6 billion years ago. Of the light emitted from the sun, 41 percent is visible light, 9 percent is ultraviolet light, and 50 percent is infrared radiation. Without the sun, there would be no life on Earth.

6 What is the structure of the sun? The sun is a spherical body with a layered atmosphere and an interior composed of layers. Energy is produced in the core (or middle) of the sun and is transported to the surface through the radiative zone and the convective zone. The sun s atmosphere has three layers: the photosphere, the chromosphere, and the corona.

7 What is the structure of the sun? The sun s surface is the photosphere. Energy escapes the sun from this layer. The middle layer of the sun s atmosphere is the chromosphere, and its temperature rises with distance from the photosphere. The sun s outer atmosphere is the corona, which extends millions of kilometers into space.

8 What is the structure of the sun? What are the layers of the sun and its atmosphere?

9 Let s Get Together How does the sun produce energy? Matter can change into energy according to the equation E = mc², where E is energy, m is mass, and c is the speed of light. The sun generates energy through the process of nuclear fusion. Nuclear fusion is the process by which two or more low-mass atomic nuclei fuse to form another, heavier nucleus.

10 How does the sun produce energy? Nuclear fusion takes place in the core of stars. In stars with core temperatures similar to the sun s, the fusion process starts with the fusion of two hydrogen nuclei. In older stars with hotter cores, helium fuses into carbon.

11 How does the sun produce energy? In the sun s core, hydrogen nuclei sometimes fuse to form a helium nucleus in a three-step process. In the first step, two protons collide to form a nucleus of deuterium, which has one proton and one neutron. Deuterium is a form of hydrogen.

12 How does the sun produce energy? Next, a deuterium nucleus collides with another proton to form a variety of helium called helium-3. In the third step, two helium-3 nuclei collide and form a helium-4 nucleus that has two protons and two neutrons. Two protons are released.

13 How does the sun produce energy? The entire chain of fusion reactions requires six hydrogen nuclei and results in one helium nucleus and two hydrogen nuclei. Approximately collisions between hydrogen nuclei take place in the sun s core every second. These reactions keep the sun shining.

14 Mixing It Up How is energy transferred to the sun s surface? Energy is transferred to the sun s surface by two different processes. Energy is transferred from the sun s core through the radiative zone by radiation. Energy is transferred from the top of the radiative zone through the convective zone to the photosphere by convection.

15 How is energy transferred to the sun s surface? Energy travels through the radiative zone in the form of electromagnetic waves. The radiative zone is densely packed with particles such as hydrogen, helium, and free electrons. Electromagnetic waves are repeatedly absorbed and re-emitted by particles until they reach the top of the radiative zone.

16 How is energy transferred to the sun s surface? In the convective zone, energy is transferred by the movement of matter. Hot gases rise to the surface of the sun, cool, and then sink back into the convective zone. This process, called convection, takes place in convection cells, which form granules on the sun s surface.

17 How does the sun rotate? Because it is a giant ball of gas, the sun rotates faster at its equator than it does at higher latitudes. This kind of rotation is called differential rotation.

18 How does the sun rotate? Near the equator, the sun rotates once in about 25 days, but at the poles it rotates once in about 35 days. The sun s interior does not rotate in the same way as the surface. The sun s core and radiative zones rotate together, at the same speed.

19 How does the sun rotate? At which point does the sun rotate fastest?

20 The Ring of Fire What is solar activity? Solar activity refers to variations in the appearance or energy output of the sun. Solar activity on the sun s surface includes sunspots, solar flares, and prominences.

21 What is solar activity? Dark areas that form on the surface of the sun are called sunspots. They are about 1,500 C cooler than the areas that surround them. Sunspots range in width from a few hundred kilometers to 10 to 15 times the diameter of Earth. Sunspot activity occurs on average in 11-year cycles, in which the activity increases and then decreases.

22 What is solar activity? A solar flare is an explosive release of energy that can extend outward as far as the sun s outer atmosphere. During a solar flare, the sun ejects large numbers of high-energy particles, along with radiation from across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Temperatures within solar flares reach millions of degrees Celsius.

23 What is solar activity? Huge loops of relatively cool gas that extend from the photosphere thousands of kilometers into the outer atmosphere are called prominences. Several objects the size of Earth could fit inside a loop of a prominence. Prominences generally last from several hours to a day, but some can last for several months.

24 What is the structure of the sun? Identify sunspots, solar flares, and prominences in this image of the sun.

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