On a hot summer day, when the sunrays touches your skin, you feel as if it is burning a hole through your skin and how we pray for the winters. If the earth, being nearly 150 million km away from the sun can receive rays that can nearly burn your skin, can you imagine how hot is the sun? No wonder no traces of life has been found on the planets which are closer to the sun such as the Mercury and Venus. Life would have been impossible, worse than the life on the hottest place on earth. Have you ever wondered how hot is sun? Or the temperature of sun's surface or even the core? It's beyond what you can imagine. Given below are some information about the temperature of the sun which will help you find out more about the sun.
Brief Note about the Sun
Before that it's also important that you learn something about the sun, like what it is made up of, what is its size and so on. Here are some interesting facts about the sun.
- The first thing that you should know about is the age of the sun. It is around 4.5 billion years old and still it's not old enough to stop burning. According to the scientists, the sun is going to shine for another 5 million years.
- It is made up of hydrogen and helium (hydrogen 74% and helium 24%) and also small amount of various other gases like iron or oxygen and some other elements present in the solar system.
- Several layers make up the sun. The outermost layer of the sun is made up of dense gases and is called the 'photosphere'. The next layer is the 'convective zone' and this is the layer where the heat moves from the inner layers to the outer surface. Radiative zone is the next layer and it is here that the reaction between hydrogen and helium takes place.
- Like the earth and other planets, even the sun rotates, but different parts of the sun rotates at different speed. The part which is inside the sun takes 27 days to rotate, the region near the equator takes 25 days and the areas near the poles takes around 36 days.
Temperature of the Sun
The sun's temperature varies from one layer to another. The outermost part of the sun, the part that we usually see or the 'photosphere' has a temperature of about 5000 °C (this is the approx temperature and not the exact one) and it is due to this high temperature that the sun gets its bright yellow or golden color. According to some researchers, if the temperature of the outer layer of the sun would have been a bit lower than the above temperature, then instead of yellow, the color of the sun would have been red in color. This layer also has the sunspots which has a temperature of about 3900°C (approx).
Then the chromosphere layer is around 3100 km thick and this is the layer which can be found just beyond the photosphere. The temperature of this part is around 4200°C (approx) and that part where this chromosphere joins the corona or the outermost atmospheric layer of the sun, there the temperature is around 100,000°C. Phew! That is hot.
Do you know which is the hottest part of the sun? It is the core of the sun. This where the hydrogen and helium reaction takes place. Due to the high temperature, the hydrogen atoms fuses together to form the helium through the process called nuclear fusion in the sun. This is the hottest layer of the sun with a temperature of around 15 to 16 million Kelvin.
The sun really is hot! But it would be a mistake to think that the sun is the hottest object in the solar system, because there are some lightning bolts that are even hotter than the sun! It's a good thing that we are so far away from the sun. Can you imagine how life would have been if we were located where Venus is now? Do you think it would be possible to have anything called life in that case? Who knows!