Cutting to the Sun's Core (January 29, 2002)
Higher resolution version (TIF,3.7M)
Borrowing from techniques like those used to "see" what is inside the
Earth, scientists have been able to determine a great deal about the
internal structure of the Sun. The three basic layers are:|
- the core at the Sun's center, densest part of the Sun,
where the nuclear fusion occurs;
- the extensive radiation zone, through which the heat and
light from the core slowly, over tens of thousands of years are
radiated out to the convection zone, and
- the convection zone, about the upper third of the Sun in
which the energy is transported by overturning motions, like the
bubbling of a pot of boiling water, up to the surface and back.
This illustration of the internal structure has been superimposed on
an EIT 304Å image from January 8, 2002.
Previous Picks of the Week