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THE SUN

THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND

The Sun is the most prominent feature in our solar


system. It is the largest object and contains approximately
98% of the total solar system mass. One hundred and nine
Earths would be required to fit across the Sun's disk, and
its interior could hold over 1.3 million Earths. The Sun's
outer visible layer is called the photosphere and has a
temperature of 6,000°C (11,000°F). This layer has a mottled
appearance due to the turbulent eruptions of energy at the
surface.

Solar energy is created deep within the core of the


Sun. It is here that the temperature (15,000,000° C;
27,000,000° F) and pressure (340 billion times Earth's air
pressure at sea level) is so intense that nuclear reactions
take place. This reaction causes four protons or hydrogen
nuclei to fuse together to form one alpha particle or
helium nucleus. The alpha particle is about .7 percent less
massive than the four protons. The difference in mass is
expelled as energy and is carried to the surface of the
Sun, through a process known as convection, where it is
released as light and heat. Energy generated in the Sun's
core takes a million years to reach its surface. Every
second 700 million tons of hydrogen are converted into
helium ashes. In the process 5 million tons of pure energy
is released; therefore, as time goes on the Sun is becoming
lighter.

The Sun appears to have been active for 4.6 billion


years and has enough fuel to go on for another five billion
years or so. At the end of its life, the Sun will start to
fuse helium into heavier elements and begin to swell up,
ultimately growing so large that it will swallow the Earth.
After a billion years as a red giant, it will suddenly
collapse into a white dwarf -- the final end product of a
star like ours. It may take a trillion years to cool off
completely.

The Sun's period of rotation at the surface varies


from approximately 25 days at the equator to 36 days at the
poles. Deep down, below the convective zone, everything
appears to rotate with a period of 27 days.

The NASA-European Space Agency Solar Heliospheric


Observatory (SOHO) has provided a remarkable galactic
perspective on the Sun and its place in the Milky Way.
The Sun drifting in front of the stars of the
constellation Sagittarius, as the constant solar wind blows
outward in all directions. Soon, a comet passes into view
from the south and disappears behind the Sun. Finally, in
an unrelated event, a plainly visible giant puff of solar
gas is emitted, representing a large mass ejection in a
direction away from the Earth.
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System.
It has a diameter of about 1,392,000 km, about 109 times
that of Earth, and its mass (about 2×1030 kilograms,
330,000 times that of Earth) accounts for about 99.86% of
the total mass of the Solar System.

About three quarters of the Sun's mass consists of


hydrogen, while the rest is mostly helium. Less than 2%
consists of heavier elements, including oxygen, carbon,
neon, iron, and others.

The Sun orbits the center of the Milky Way at a


distance of approximately 24,000–26,000 light years from
the galactic center, completing one clockwise orbit, as
viewed from the galactic north pole, in about 225–250
million years. Since our galaxy is moving with respect to
the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) in the
direction of constellation Hydra with a speed of 550 km/s,
the sun's resultant velocity with respect to the CMB is
about 370 km/s in the direction of Crater or Leo.

The energy of this sunlight supports almost all life


on Earth by photosynthesis, and drives Earth's climate and
weather. The enormous effect of the Sun on the Earth has
been recognized since prehistoric times, and the Sun has
been regarded by some cultures as a deity. An accurate
scientific understanding of the Sun developed slowly, and
as recently as the 19th century prominent scientists had
little knowledge of the Sun's physical composition and
source of energy. This understanding is still developing;
there are a number of present-day anomalies in the Sun's
behavior that remain unexplained.

Physical changes in the intensity of solar radiation


conspire with human impacts to stress the world system.

Solar storms, capable of traveling at speeds up to 5


million miles per hour, could knock-out virtually every
major technological infrastructure on the planet:
transportation, security and emergency response systems,
electricity grids, finance, telecommunications, including
satellite and other wireless networks, and even household
electronic equipment.

Scientists forecast yet another disruptive event for


the end of 2012: breaches in the Earth’s magnetic field. In
the past this field protected living systems from the
effects of solar storms and coronal mass ejections. Lately
the magnetic field has diminished in intensity and holes
and gaps have appeared. Scientists in South Africa measured
cracks in the magnetic field the size of California, and in
December of 2008 NASA announced that its Themis Project had
found a massive breach that would allow a devastating
amounts of solar plasma to enter the Earth’s magnetosphere.

The fluctuation of the magnetic field could also lead


to the reversal of the planet’s magnetic poles. During the
course of reversal the magnetic field would become still
weaker, and the danger to life from solar and stellar
radiation would greatly increase.
Another scientific report of relevance concerns the
entry of our solar system into a highly energized region of
space. This turbulent region is making the Sun hotter and
stormier and has already caused climate change on other
planets. According to Russian scientists the effects on
Earth will include an acceleration of the magnetic pole
shift, the vertical and horizontal distribution of ozone,
and an increase in the frequency and magnitude of extreme
climate events.

There is solid scientific evidence backing up the


prophecy that the end of 2012 will be a turbulent epoch.
Will we be ready for the abrupt shifts and disruptions it
will bring, and ready to seize the opportunities that will
open in their wake? We must now face this question. The
answer to it is not yet in, but one thing is certain: we
must wake up to both to the dangers and to the
opportunities of the “WorldShift 2012” awaiting us.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The following statement of the problem was studied and


gathered. Is the sun produces heat and light? All that gas
from leaking into space? Or the sun send out solar flares?
The Earth receive heat from the Sun?

OBJECTIVES

1. The Sun appears to move across the sky through the


day. Different things can be discovered from the same
evidence.

2. Observing the global changes.

Theoretical/Conceptual Framework

Sun’s magnetic field. The solar wind, which flows


radially outward through the entire solar system, is formed
by the expansion of the coronal gases and only ends at the
heliopause. In spite of its high temperature, the corona
yields relatively little heat, because of its low density.
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

Measuring the duration of the eclipse allows us to


measure the Sun’s diameter. Account must be taken of the
profile of the lunar limb and the observer’s position vis-
à-vis the centre line, as corrections involving the
relative positions of the lunar and solar disks will be
needed if the observer is not on the centre line. Accuracy
in the measurement of this interval must be to within
0.01s, corresponding to 0.005 arcsec of the solar diameter,
or 4 km in 1,391,000. Such measurements are used to verify
hypothetical variations in the diameter of our star.

The Moon is an ellipsoid with three axes. The major


axis points towards the Earth, while the other two are at
right angles to this axis. Eclipses of the Sun have
resulted in very precise measurements of the shape of the
Moon, by observers stationed on either side of the centre
line. The progress of a total eclipse is marked by
contacts. First contact is the moment when the Moon takes
the first ‘bite’ out of the Sun’s disc. Second contact is
the disappearance of the last gleam of the Sun’s light: a
great moment for the observer, at the onset of totality.
When totality ends, seconds or minutes later, the Sun
reappears in a burst of light as third contact occurs.
Fourth contact is the moment when the Moon moves completely
off the Sun, which resumes its circular aspect.

The solar disk is considered to be circular, and it


is possible to determine certain lunar dimensions by
measuring the time elapsed between second and third
contacts, thus increasing our knowledge of the Moon’s
geometry.

SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

1. Radio Telescopes to know the wavelengths, performed


observation of the solar atmosphere.

2. CCDs (charge-coupled devices) it is an electronic


camera to take the image of the corona (sun).
DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS

• CORONA
 Sun; a circle of light around a
luminous body, usually the moon.

• NASA
 National Aeronautics and Space
Administration

• ECLIPSE
 The partial or complete obscuring,
relative to a designated observer, of one
celestial body by another.

• ELLIPSOID
 A geometric surface, all of whose plane
sections are either ellipses or circles.

• RED GIANT
 A giant star that has a relatively low
surface temperature, giving it a reddish or
orange hue.

• CONSTELLATION
 A group of stars seen as forming a figure or
design in the sky, especially one of 88
officially recognized groups, many of which are
based on mythological traditions from ancient
Greek and Middle Eastern civilizations.

• MILKY WAY
 The spiral galaxy that contains our
solar system. Made up of an estimated two
hundred billion stars or more, it is seen from
Earth as an irregular band of hazy light across
the night sky.
BIBLIOGRAPHY

1.1 Wikipedia Encyclopedia

1.2 www.google.com (The Sun Facts & Images)

1.3 Britannica Online Encyclopedia

1.4 SUN-THE CORONA. Author: A.VASUDEVAN

1.5 Lunar Corona Nights by Max Gluteus