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Last Post 3/22/2012 9:49 AM by  Claire Raftery
surface of sun
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3/22/2012 7:41 AM
    Hi my name is Michael and I have a question What might the surface of the sun look like?
    Tags: sun, surface, opacity, granule

    Claire Raftery

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    3/22/2012 9:49 AM
    Hi Michael, That is a good question and its a difficult one to answer. That is because there is no real "surface" of the Sun. The Sun is made up of a big ball of ionized gas called "plasma" and it has no solid layers. The reason we see a surface is because that is the layer where we can no longer see through the Sun's atmosphere. It is a bit like being in a dense fog. If you shine a light on it, the light won't get very far and it seems like a wall of white in front of you - this is because the fog is preventing us from seeingn through it to what is beyond. The Sun's "surface" is like that. There is a change in the composition at that layer that stops us from looking inside, much like the fog. As for what it looks like, well we can see that. If we assume the surface is the layer below which we can't see anything, then we can take pictures of that layer. This is what it looks like There small "granules" are like boiling oatmeal and are actually giant cells about the size of the Earth. The large spot is a sunspot that has moving plasma surrounding it. As you can see, the Sun is a very dynamic place!
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