The sun is an almost perfect huge and light-producing sphere of hot plasma at the center of the solar system. It is made up of several layers which in turn contribute to its temperature. The layers of the sun include the core, radiative zone, convection layer, photosphere, chromosphere, and corona.
The sun is the hottest object in the solar system, although there are stars that are more than ten times hotter. It is the largest and most massive object sitting at approximately 149.5 million km from the earth. Because of this distance, heat, and light from the sun reach the earth in approximately eight minutes.
Telling exactly how hot the sun is, is a bit tricky. The sun varies widely in temperature. However, we can consider a few things to help know how hot the sun actually is.
Temperature is the one aspect that is used to measure how hot the sun is. We shall discuss how hot the sun is according to the layers.
The sun’s core is a result of nuclear fusion. Nuclear fusion occurs when hydrogen atoms are fused and compressed under immense pressure resulting in helium.
In the core of the sun, gravitational attraction produces enormous pressure and temperature. The temperature is estimated at 15,000,000 degrees Celsius.
This process creates a lot of energy which radiates outward to the surface of the sun, to the atmosphere, and further.
Just after the core, is the radiative zone. this layer’s temperature rapidly goes down to around 2,000,000 degrees Celsius.
Photons carry the energy from the core to the radiative areas where it bounces around for hundreds of years before moving to the convective zone. The photons are absorbed and retransmitted by other particles.
The convection layer is the middle layer of the sun. In the convection zone, the temperature drops to less than 2,000,000 degrees Celsius. The plasma moves in a convective motion. The convective cells transmit radiation and heat to the sun’s surface.
In this layer, there is the subsurface flow that separates the interior of the sun from the surface, the photosphere.
The photosphere is the outer layer of the sun that emits heat and light. This is what we see from the earth. The photosphere’s temperature is estimated at 5,5000 degrees Celsius. Here, you can see the sun’s radiation as visible light.
This layer has sunspots that are cold and dark than those in the surrounding areas. The temperature at the center of the big sunspots is 4,000 degrees Celsius.
This is the layer right above the photosphere, also known as the thin atmosphere around the sun. This layer is cooler with temperatures lying between 6,000-20,000 degrees Celsius. The bright light from the photosphere overpowers the light from the chromosphere, you can hardly see it.
During a total solar eclipse, the moon blocks the photosphere, making it easy to see light from the chromosphere. The light appears like a red ring around the sun.
In the corona, the temperature rises significantly and can range between 1,000,000 degrees Celsius and 10,000,000 degrees Celsius. It is only visible when a solar eclipse occurs.
The temperature at the corona is hundreds of times hotter than the layers below it. The corona cools with time and it starts to lose radiation and heat.
Yes, there is. The neutron star and the Wolf-Rayet stars. The interior core of a neutron star reaches 1 trillion degrees Celsius while the surface is about 600,000 degrees Celsius. Wolf-Rayet star has a surface temperature of about 210,000 degrees Celsius.
To stay safe in the sun and heat during spring and summer, you need to do a few things to protect yourself.
Apply sunscreen on your skin at least 15-30 minutes before you go out to the sun and reapply every two hours or one hour if you are swimming. You should apply sunscreen every day. Select a sunscreen that protects against UVB and UVA radiation, is water-resistant, and has an SPF of 30 or more.
Try as much as possible to stay away from the sun between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. The sun's rays are normally intense during this time.
Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants that are dark and have a tightly woven fabric. Accessorize that with a hat to protect your face and neck as well as a pair of sunglasses for your eyes.
In addition, you need to be more cautious if you are under medication that makes your skin more sensitive to the sun. such include medicine like anti-inflammatories, blood pressure medication, antibiotics, antifungals, and chemotherapies. You should also seek shade when the sun is strongest.
The immense heat from the sun will affect you in several ways if you expose your skin too much. The ultraviolet rays do not only damage skin cells but cause sunburn too. Also, the WHO has proven UV rays to be human carcinogens likely to cause cancer.
You now know what contributes to the heat you feel during the summer and spring seasons. The sun is hotter than the heat that reaches us on earth. Fortunately, there are several ways you can protect your skin from the adverse effects of solar heat and your eyes from the light.