THE SUN ROTATION                  


The general instructions and the material for the are provided on the Space Science Experience Home. In this experience, we explore the Sun Rotation. 

  • Introduction to the Scientific Case (Spanish) (English)
  • Videos related to the Scientific Case.
The Sun is our closest star, at 150 million kilometers from Earth. Compared to other stars the Sun is small. Nonetheless, it is 100 times bigger than Earth!!
Just like other planets the Sun also rotates around itself. 

                   Sun rotation animation where flares and prominences are reproduced. Credits:NASA

           The Sun is 333.333 times more massive than Earth.Credits:NASA

The Sun is a big ball of gas and plasma with onion like internal structure that is shown below. The center of the star is 15.000.000K and it is where the thermonuclear reactions (H into He) are taking place.

Why is the Sun so hot?

Well, the Sun is continuously collapsing under its own gravity what creates a region of very high pressure and temperatures that ignite thermonuclear reactions. 



And did you know that it takes .xx years for the light to travel from the center of the Sun and 8 minutes to come from the surface of the Sun to Earth.

The surface of the Sun has 3 main regions: the photosphere, the chromosphere, and the corona. The Sun's photosphere is the part that we see in visible and it is where we see the "sun spots". The Sun photosphere has a temperature of 6000 K and is all what we see with our eyes and where we see the "sun spots" which are dark because they are cooler. The chromosphere is a thin layer above the photosphere ( temperature at 10.000 K) and together with the corona (temperature at 2.000.000 K) forms the Sun atmosphere. To see these three part of the Sun which are different temperatures and therefore different colors we use different glasses (filter) in front of the telecope.


Sunspot complex, called Active Region 1967, which extends 180.000 km across (larger than the Jupiter planet). A Smaller group of sunspots also rotating above. Credits: WIRED


                                         Looking closer to one of the sunspots they are such as in the image below. Sunspot                                            morphology compared to the Earth-size. Credits: NASA.


By studying the movement of the "sun spots" we are studying the rotation of the Sun.