In terms of the number of atoms, it is made of 91.0% hydrogen and 8.9% helium. This is not a solid surface like the surfaces of planets. SOHO’s original operating phase was scheduled for two years – and now, through repeated extensions, it is celebrating 25 years in orbit. Credit: NASA Visualization Technology Applications and Development (VTAD). What is the nearest star outside our galaxy? The energy travels outward through a large area called the convective zone. NASA IMAGE satellite,Ask the Space Scientist Archive The gases in the Sun rotate faster at the equator than the poles. The answer was given by George Gamov and the Brazilian physicist Mario Schenberg in 1941: enormous energy is indeed generated, but the extreme temperature produces nuclear processes which generate neutrinos and these remove energy very, very quickly. NASA’s Parker Solar Probe was at the right place at the right time to capture a unique view of comet NEOWISE. Subsurface magnetic field 'lines' are trapped in the gas and two things happen. Our Sun is powered by nuclear fusion, where atomic nuclei join together. The core of the sun is the region that extends from the center to about 20–25% of the solar radius. The electric currents in the Sun generate a complex magnetic field that extends out into space to form the interplanetary magnetic field. Nature contains nuclei of many different sizes. It is enough energy to melt a bridge of ice 2 miles wide, 1 mile thick, and extending the entire way from the Earth to the Sun, in one second. Like the Earth, the Sun also rotates around its axis, once in about 27 days, but unlike Earth, its rotation is not uniform, the equator goes around faster than regions near the poles. ***       Since the Sun rotates, the magnetic field spins out into a large rotating spiral, known as the Parker spiral.     Stars several times the size of our Sun have enough gravity to crush together not just atoms but even nuclei, compressing all their matter to a sphere perhaps 15 kilometers across. The story of that discovery is given in the following section, "The black hole at the center of our galaxy". The Sun is stirring from its latest slumber. Why are nights dark? Storms of matter and energy from the sun travel out into space.       For section "The Black Hole at the Center of our Galaxy" mentioned above, click here. Apart from the planets, almost every star we see at night is a sun: some are bigger than ours, some smaller, some are at an earlier stage of their developments, some at a later one, and some have evolved altogether differently, for a variety of reasons. That quantity is known as the. ***       Above the photosphere lie the tenuous chromosphere and the corona (crown), which make up the thin solar atmosphere. That's much cooler than the blazing core, but it's still hot enough to make carbon, like diamonds and graphite, not just melt, but boil. ***                       Nature contains nuclei of many different sizes. None would exist without it. What happens then can only be guessed and calculated, not observed, for the star's gravity in the collapsed state is so strong that no light and no information can return from it to the outside world. All such stars burn hydrogen to produce helium, where "burn" refers to nuclear processes, not to the (completely inadequate) chemical process of fire. ***       ... which is the period when the Sun is least active. Before this, astrophysicists guessed the remnant star might be surrounded by orbiting debris, with high-energy particles shooting out along its magnetic axis, the one direction in which magnetic field lines do not confine them.     That catastrophic event is known as a supernova explosion (technically, a "type 2 supernova"). Electrons and nuclei were kept together by electric attraction (negative attracts positive). Energy loss rate of our Sun Another image of the nebula, highly detailed, is given here.     What is the fate of starlight energy? ***       ***       ), IR, and even radio waves. If on the other time we need invest energy to separate it into its components, the weight will be less than that of the components. How were planets created? When the temperature at the center of the newly-formed Sun became great enough for collisions between nuclei to overcome their electric repulsion, nuclei began to stick together and protons were combined into helium, with some protons changing in the process to neutrons (plus positrons, positive electrons, which combine with electrons and are destroyed). Mail to Dr.Stern:   stargaze("at" symbol)phy6.org . This site is maintained by the Planetary Science Communications team at, The Sun is a yellow dwarf star, a hot ball of glowing gases at the heart of our solar system. The warmer the object, the more infrared radiation it emits. What is the nearest star outside our galaxy?. 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Why are nights dark? Considering that the nuclear forces has a short range, this "close packing" gives the tightest binding. The Sun’s volume would need 1.3 million Earths to fill it. Almost all elements on Earth that are heavier than helium (except, possibly, a small amount of lithium) must have arrived that way: products of nuclear burning in some pre-solar star, released or created in the explosion accompanying its final collapse. The sun is the major external source of the energy, in the form of heat and light, needed to make the Earth's processes work. ***       So far, no success--magnetic traps are rather unstable, and any plasma hot enough and dense enough to undergo nuclear fusion tends to slip out of them after a short time. Furthermore, electrons were sometimes shared by neighboring atoms or transferred to them (by processes of quantum physics), and this link between atoms gave our world its many chemical compounds. 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