how far is the sun

[111] The difference is due to magnetic fields generated by electrical currents in the plasma surrounding the Sun. In the 1st century AD, Ptolemy estimated the distance as 1,210 times the radius of Earth, approximately 7.71 million kilometers (0.0515 AU).[167]. How far is Jupiter from Earth? − A simple model of the motion of a star in the galaxy gives the galactic coordinates X, Y, and Z as: where U, V, and W are the respective velocities with respect to the local standard of rest, A and B are the Oort constants, Hans Bethe calculated the details of the two main energy-producing nuclear reactions that power the Sun. The Sun is located at the center of our solar system, and Earth orbits 93 million miles away from it. The process carries on continuously, and in an idealized, simplified scenario, each 11-year sunspot cycle corresponds to a change, then, in the overall polarity of the Sun's large-scale magnetic field.[109][110]. [82], The visible surface of the Sun, the photosphere, is the layer below which the Sun becomes opaque to visible light. Such a weak star would not have been able to sustain liquid water on Earth's surface, and thus life should not have been able to develop. X All numbers in this article are short scale. [83] The reason is not well understood, but evidence suggests that Alfvén waves may have enough energy to heat the corona. The Egyptians portrayed the god Ra as being carried across the sky in a solar barque, accompanied by lesser gods, and to the Greeks, he was Helios, carried by a chariot drawn by fiery horses. [40] The tidal effect of the planets is weak and does not significantly affect the shape of the Sun. So Eratosthenes may have found a fairly accurate value for the Earth-Sun distance (possibly with some luck), but we can't say for sure. [154] After 179 years (nine times the synodic period of Jupiter and Saturn) the pattern more or less repeats, but rotated by about 24°. [166] For teaching this heresy, he was imprisoned by the authorities and sentenced to death, though he was later released through the intervention of Pericles. It was the center of a popular cult among Romans, who would stand at dawn to catch the first rays of sunshine as they prayed. The flash is caused by light from the Sun just below the horizon being bent (usually through a temperature inversion) towards the observer. The au is not the exact distance, but the average distance between the Earth and the Sun, meaning the distance may sometimes vary. [92] Discoveries included the first observations of coronal mass ejections, then called "coronal transients", and of coronal holes, now known to be intimately associated with the solar wind. This indicates that one or more supernovae must have occurred near the location where the Sun formed. Viewing the Sun through light-concentrating optics such as binoculars may result in permanent damage to the retina without an appropriate filter that blocks UV and substantially dims the sunlight. Its main instrument will be a coronagraph for studying the dynamics of the solar corona.[198]. Humanity's most fundamental understanding of the Sun is as the luminous disk in the sky, whose presence above the horizon creates day and whose absence causes night. It was adopted as the Sabbath day by Christians who did not have a Jewish background. Activity: How far away is SOHO? That’s actually an interesting coincidence, since the Earth orbits about 150 million kilometers away from the Sun. Jupiter orbits the Sun in an elliptical orbit, ranging from 460,237,112 at its closest approach to 507,040,015 miles away when it is at its most distant. The period of the Sun's circulation around the point is [45] Sunlight at the top of Earth's atmosphere is composed (by total energy) of about 50% infrared light, 40% visible light, and 10% ultraviolet light. [165], One of the first people to offer a scientific or philosophical explanation for the Sun was the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras. He reasoned that it was not the chariot of Helios, but instead a giant flaming ball of metal even larger than the land of the Peloponnesus and that the Moon reflected the light of the Sun. This outermost layer of the Sun is defined to begin at the distance where the flow of the solar wind becomes superalfvénic—that is, where the flow becomes faster than the speed of Alfvén waves,[94] at approximately 20 solar radii (0.1 AU). One theory among scientists is that the atmosphere of the young Earth contained much larger quantities of greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide, methane) than are present today, which trapped enough heat to compensate for the smaller amount of solar energy reaching it. U 0 Solar System → Local Interstellar Cloud → Local Bubble → Gould Belt → Orion Arm → Milky Way → Milky Way subgroup → Local Group → Local Sheet → Virgo Supercluster → Laniakea Supercluster → Observable universe → UniverseEach arrow (→) may be read as "within" or "part of". [78][79], From the core out to about 0.7 solar radii, thermal radiation is the primary means of energy transfer. The enormous effect of the Sun on Earth has been recognized since prehistoric times. The distance from Earth … [175] Kelvin and Hermann von Helmholtz then proposed a gravitational contraction mechanism to explain the energy output, but the resulting age estimate was only 20 million years, well short of the time span of at least 300 million years suggested by some geological discoveries of that time. The photosphere is tens to hundreds of kilometers thick, and is slightly less opaque than air on Earth. Galileo posited that sunspots were on the surface of the Sun rather than small objects passing between Earth and the Sun. In 1868, Norman Lockyer hypothesized that these absorption lines were caused by a new element that he dubbed helium, after the Greek Sun god Helios. [185][186], In the 1970s, two Helios spacecraft and the Skylab Apollo Telescope Mount provided scientists with significant new data on solar wind and the solar corona. In 1666, Isaac Newton observed the Sun's light using a prism, and showed that it is made up of light of many colors. Those that do appear are at high solar latitudes. [93] The interplanetary magnetic field is much stronger than the dipole component of the solar magnetic field. [5], The magnetic field also varies in time and location. Light of shorter wavelengths (violet, blue, green) is bent more than that of longer wavelengths (yellow, orange, red) but the violet and blue light is scattered more, leaving light that is perceived as green. The distance from the Sun to the Oort Cloud is so enormous that it’s useful to describe it not in the more common units of miles or kilometers, but astronomical units. It is so far away that light from the Sun, traveling at a speed of 186,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) per second, takes about 8 minutes to reach us. [21], In the 1970s, much research focused on the abundances of iron-group elements in the Sun. [67] It has a density of up to 150 g/cm3[68][69] (about 150 times the density of water) and a temperature of close to 15.7 million kelvin (K). The term "sol" with a lower-case 's' is used by planetary astronomers for the duration of a solar day on another planet such as Mars. The coolest layer of the Sun is a temperature minimum region extending to about 500 km above the photosphere, and has a temperature of about 4,100 K.[83] This part of the Sun is cool enough to allow the existence of simple molecules such as carbon monoxide and water, which can be detected via their absorption spectra. [147] This model implies that the Sun circulates around a point that is itself going around the galaxy. With … In December 2004, the Voyager 1 probe passed through a shock front that is thought to be part of the heliopause. = The heavy elements could most plausibly have been produced by endothermic nuclear reactions during a supernova, or by transmutation through neutron absorption within a massive second-generation star.[31]. However, according to spacecraft observations the interplanetary field at Earth's location is around 5 nT, about a hundred times greater. Ernest Rutherford suggested that the Sun's output could be maintained by an internal source of heat, and suggested radioactive decay as the source. ( The Sun has eight known planets. [42] Viewed from a vantage point above its north pole, the Sun rotates counterclockwise around its axis of spin. The moving point is presently at, The oscillation in the Z direction takes the Sun, above the galactic plane and the same distance below it, with a period of [37] For the purpose of measurement, the Sun's radius is considered to be the distance from its center to the edge of the photosphere, the apparent visible surface of the Sun. All these words stem from Proto-Germanic *sunnōn. [92] Besides its direct solar observation, SOHO has enabled the discovery of a large number of comets, mostly tiny sungrazing comets that incinerate as they pass the Sun. Distance … The Sun is by far the brightest object in the Earth's sky, with an apparent magnitude of −26.74. [28], The Sun is a G-type main-sequence star that comprises about 99.86% of the mass of the Solar System. Why are sunspots darker than the rest of the Sun? [179] In 1920, Sir Arthur Eddington proposed that the pressures and temperatures at the core of the Sun could produce a nuclear fusion reaction that merged hydrogen (protons) into helium nuclei, resulting in a production of energy from the net change in mass. However, 804,000,000 stadia is between 126 million and 168 million kilometers - a range which includes the actual Earth-Sun distance of (approximately) 150 million kilometers. [69], The thermal columns of the convection zone form an imprint on the surface of the Sun giving it a granular appearance called the solar granulation at the smallest scale and supergranulation at larger scales. Because energy transport in the Sun is a process that involves photons in thermodynamic equilibrium with matter, the time scale of energy transport in the Sun is longer, on the order of 30,000,000 years. It is estimated that a further 130 systems within this range have not yet been identified. κ [35] At this average distance, light travels from the Sun's horizon to Earth's horizon in about 8 minutes and 19 seconds, while light from the closest points of the Sun and Earth takes about two seconds less. [93], It is thought that the energy necessary to heat the corona is provided by turbulent motion in the convection zone below the photosphere, and two main mechanisms have been proposed to explain coronal heating. [183], The first satellites designed for long term observation of the Sun from interplanetary space were NASA's Pioneers 6, 7, 8 and 9, which were launched between 1959 and 1968. A light year refers to the distance light travels per Earth year. Models vary depending on the rate and timing of mass loss. W [169], Arabic astronomical contributions include Al-Battani's discovery that the direction of the Sun's apogee (the place in the Sun's orbit against the fixed stars where it seems to be moving slowest) is changing. As a result, sunspots are slightly cooler than the surrounding photosphere, so they appear dark. It will then have reached the red clump or horizontal branch, but a star of the Sun's mass does not evolve blueward along the horizontal branch. Hazy conditions, atmospheric dust, and high humidity contribute to this atmospheric attenuation. [91] These waves travel upward and dissipate in the corona, depositing their energy in the ambient matter in the form of heat. In religions such as Hinduism, the Sun is still considered a god. [77][f], The fusion rate in the core is in a self-correcting equilibrium: a slightly higher rate of fusion would cause the core to heat up more and expand slightly against the weight of the outer layers, reducing the density and hence the fusion rate and correcting the perturbation; and a slightly lower rate would cause the core to cool and shrink slightly, increasing the density and increasing the fusion rate and again reverting it to its present rate. This process speeds up as the core gradually becomes denser. The Sun is at an average distance of about 93,000,000 miles (150 million kilometers) away from Earth. The Sun's magnetic field leads to many effects that are collectively called solar activity. [106], An 11-year sunspot cycle is half of a 22-year Babcock–Leighton dynamo cycle, which corresponds to an oscillatory exchange of energy between toroidal and poloidal solar magnetic fields. What? It was destroyed by atmospheric re-entry in 2005. π The centre of the sun is always within 2.2 solar radii of the barycentre. Heat is transferred outward from the Sun's core by radiation rather than by convection (see Radiative zone below), so the fusion products are not lifted outward by heat; they remain in the core[57] and gradually an inner core of helium has begun to form that cannot be fused because presently the Sun's core is not hot or dense enough to fuse helium. [218][219] Derivatives of this goddess in Indo-European languages include the Old Norse Sól, Sanskrit Surya, Gaulish Sulis, Lithuanian Saulė, and Slavic Solntse. These probes orbited the Sun at a distance similar to that of Earth, and made the first detailed measurements of the solar wind and the solar magnetic field. As the solar cycle progresses towards its maximum, sunspots tend to form closer to the solar equator, a phenomenon known as Spörer's law. The solar constant is equal to approximately 1,368 W/m2 (watts per square meter) at a distance of one astronomical unit (AU) from the Sun (that is, on or near Earth). The Sun has been regarded by some cultures as a deity. The approximate distance between the Sun and Mars is 0.000024155306893301653 light years. The post-asymptotic-giant-branch evolution is even faster. [98], High-energy gamma ray photons initially released with fusion reactions in the core are almost immediately absorbed by the solar plasma of the radiative zone, usually after traveling only a few millimeters. It is composed of four distinct parts: the chromosphere, the transition region, the corona and the heliosphere. ) [162][163][164], In the early first millennium BC, Babylonian astronomers observed that the Sun's motion along the ecliptic is not uniform, though they did not know why; it is today known that this is due to the movement of Earth in an elliptic orbit around the Sun, with Earth moving faster when it is nearer to the Sun at perihelion and moving slower when it is farther away at aphelion. A solar wind sample return mission, Genesis, was designed to allow astronomers to directly measure the composition of solar material. [208] The hazard is insidious for inexperienced observers and for children, because there is no perception of pain: it is not immediately obvious that one's vision is being destroyed. [69] This temperature gradient is less than the value of the adiabatic lapse rate and hence cannot drive convection, which explains why the transfer of energy through this zone is by radiation instead of thermal convection. The theoretical concept of fusion was developed in the 1930s by the astrophysicists Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and Hans Bethe. Once the core hydrogen is exhausted in 5.4 billion years, the Sun will expand into a subgiant phase and slowly double in size over about half a billion years. [69], The Sun's convection zone extends from 0.7 solar radii (500,000 km) to near the surface. κ It has been argued that the Sun's passage through the higher density spiral arms often coincides with mass extinctions on Earth, perhaps due to increased impact events. At its farthest, the Sun is 94.5 million miles (152.1 million km) away. ( V This will help keep the math easy. This includes four terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars), two gas giants (Jupiter and Saturn), and two ice giants (Uranus and Neptune). [197], The Indian Space Research Organisation has scheduled the launch of a 100 kg satellite named Aditya for mid 2020. [23][24] This is ultimately related to the word for "sun" in other branches of the Indo-European language family, though in most cases a nominative stem with an l is found, rather than the genitive stem in n, as for example in Latin sōl, Greek ἥλιος hēlios, Welsh haul and Russian солнце solntse (pronounced sontse), as well as (with *l > r) Sanskrit स्वर svár and Persian خور xvar. This means that the distance between Earth and the Sun changes during a year. Gravity and pressure within the core of the cloud generated a lot of heat as it accreted more matter from the surrounding disk, eventually triggering nuclear fusion. From the Greek helios comes the rare adjective heliac /ˈhiːliæk/. [143] The Sun, and thus the Solar System, is found in what scientists call the galactic habitable zone. To represent this, the beautiful spiral galaxy Messier 74 was used, as it thought to be a similar galaxy to ours.Below is a picture of the real Mi… [144] Of the 50 nearest stellar systems within 17 light-years from Earth (the closest being the red dwarf Proxima Centauri at approximately 4.2 light-years), the Sun ranks fourth in mass.[145]. [86], During early studies of the optical spectrum of the photosphere, some absorption lines were found that did not correspond to any chemical elements then known on Earth. Some improvised filters that pass UV or IR rays, can actually harm the eye at high brightness levels. Ω In the same way, when we are revolving around the Sun, the position of the stars closer to Earth move steadily from one position to another, whereas the stars farther away don’t appear to move as m… Wolf 359. do; How Does Our Sun Compare With Other Stars? cobalt and manganese) via spectrography because of their hyperfine structures. 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[99] In contrast, it takes only 2.3 seconds for the neutrinos, which account for about 2% of the total energy production of the Sun, to reach the surface. Ω [188], Launched in 1991, Japan's Yohkoh (Sunbeam) satellite observed solar flares at X-ray wavelengths. Pioneer 9 operated for a particularly long time, transmitting data until May 1983. / It is estimated that the Sun has become 30% brighter in the last 4.5 billion years. The corona is the extended atmosphere of the Sun, which has a volume much larger than the volume enclosed by the Sun's photosphere. All waves except Alfvén waves have been found to dissipate or refract before reaching the corona. [175][176] In 1890 Joseph Lockyer, who discovered helium in the solar spectrum, proposed a meteoritic hypothesis for the formation and evolution of the Sun. [52] Fusing four free protons (hydrogen nuclei) into a single alpha particle (helium nucleus) releases around 0.7% of the fused mass as energy,[74] so the Sun releases energy at the mass–energy conversion rate of 4.26 million metric tons per second (which requires 600 metric megatons of hydrogen [75]), for 384.6 yottawatts (3.846×1026 W),[5] or 9.192×1010 megatons of TNT per second. Shares. The photosphere has a particle density of ~1023 m−3 (about 0.37% of the particle number per volume of Earth's atmosphere at sea level). [187], In 1980, the Solar Maximum Mission was launched by NASA. There is an 8.3-minute delay between the release of light from the sun and our exposure to that light. The symbol of light was a pagan device adopted by Christians, and perhaps the most important one that did not come from Jewish traditions. [211], Ultraviolet light from the Sun has antiseptic properties and can be used to sanitize tools and water. The Evolution of a 3 M_{sun} Star from the Main Sequence Through Core Helium Burning". The Sun today is roughly halfway through the most stable part of its life. What Are … The core is therefore shrinking, allowing the outer layers of the Sun to move closer to the center and experience a stronger gravitational force, according to the inverse-square law. After this, it will shed its outer layers and become a dense type of cooling star known as a white dwarf, and no longer produce energy by fusion, but still glow and give off heat from its previous fusion. [60], Various authors have considered the existence of a gradient in the isotopic compositions of solar and planetary noble gases,[64] e.g. The sunlight that is destined for the eyepiece is reflected from an unsilvered surface of a piece of glass. It accounts for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System. In the New Empire period, the Sun became identified with the dung beetle, whose spherical ball of dung was identified with the Sun. [117], A recent theory claims that there are magnetic instabilities in the core of the Sun that cause fluctuations with periods of either 41,000 or 100,000 years. Ross and Aller 1976, Hauge and Engvold 1977, cited in Biemont 1978 centre of the primordial System. Columns are Bénard cells and take the shape of roughly hexagonal prisms Sun has regarded... Using computer models of stellar evolution and through nucleocosmochronology type of solar wind plasma chromosphere, the amount the... Stereoscopic imaging of the Sun today is roughly halfway through the glass and leaves the instrument optical phenomenon known..., Withbroe 1976, Withbroe 1976, Hauge and Engvold 1977, cited in Biemont 1978 5! Indian space research Organisation has scheduled the launch of a heliocentric System in the corona is the distance travels... 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