Can You Answer the Following
INTRODUCING THE SUN
1. Supply the following information about the sun:
a. distance from earth ....................................
b. diameter ....................................................
c. volume (in comparison to earth) ................
d. mass (in comparison to earth) ....................
e. density .......................................................
f. "surface" temperature ................................
g. core temperature .......................................
ENERGY PRODUCTION WITHIN THE SUN
2. The two most abundant elements which are contained within the sun
and _______________. Those elements with an
atomic number greater than two can be
collectively referred to as _______________.
3. All elements contained within the sun are found in the _______________
state. In fact most
of the material is in the form of a _______________.
4. The sun powers itself through a conversion of _______________ into
Albert _______________ laid the foundation for
astrophysicists to speculate upon how the
sun produces its own energy.
5. The nuclear reaction which powers the sun is referred to as the
6. Essentially, during this process four _______________ (atoms) fuse
via a distinct series of t
reactions to produce a helium nucleus. Since
a helium nucleus, which is composed of two
_______________ and two _______________, weighs
MORE/LESS (circle one) than
four hydrogen protons, some _______________
has been converted into
_______________. The amount of matter converted
into energy is 0.7 percent per reaction.
7. Even though approximately _______________ million tons of matter
are annihilated every
second, the chances that a particular hydrogen
proton will go into a reaction at any given
moment is extremely SMALL/LARGE (circle
one). It will take about 10 billion years for
approximately _______________ percent of the
original hydrogen in the core to be
converted into helium.
8. The energy created in the core of the sun takes on the order of ____________________
years to travel through its interior and finally
escape from the "surface." Thereafter, only about
_______________ minutes elapses before that
same energy reaches the earth, 93 million
miles (150 million km) away.
9. During its passage from the core to the surface, the energy per
DECREASES (circle one). During this same period
the number of photons carrying this
energy towards the surface INCREASE/DECREASE
*10. By-products of the proton-proton reaction are high intensity
gamma radiation, positrons
(electrons with a positive charge), and n
. These latter "particles"
have a HIGH/LOW
(circle one) probability of reacting with
matter and probably possess no mass. Gamma rays are
almost immediately absorbed and reemitted as
x-rays, while positrons are annihilated on the
spot by free electrons and changed into energy.
*11. Ray Davis a chemist at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in
New York state has built a
_______________ detector about one mile underground
in the Homestake Gold Mine near
Lead, South Dakota. In essence he has filled
a 100,000 gallon container with
perchloroethylene C2Cl4 (dry cleaning fluid)
in the hopes of changing an isotope of chlorine
(37) into an isotope of (detectable) radioactive
argon. The nuclear reaction is triggered by a
neutrino which is produced by a variant of the
proton-proton reaction in the sun. Based upon
the rate of energy escaping from the sun, it
is possible to calculate the amount of matter being
annihilated, and therefore the number of neutrinos
being produced, as well as the probability
that these neutrinos will react with the fluid
in the tank. Davis' results have consistently shown
that the number of radioactive argon atoms being
produced in his tank
12. The sun is a stable star because throughout its various layers
the force of gravity created by its
mass balances the outward pressures resulting
from its energy production. This is termed
ENERGY TRANSPORTATION WITHIN THE SUN
13. The temperature of an object is a direct function of the average
(½mv²) which the atoms and molecules
of that body possess. At absolute zero, all
_______________ motion ceases. The absolute
scale for measuring temperature is called the
_______________ scale and each degree equals
_______________ Fahrenheit degrees.
14. The three types of energy transportation mechanisms are known
_______________, and _______________.
15. When warmer gases or fluids move in bulk into cooler regions, that
type of energy transfer is
said to be _______________. The warmer gases
or fluids are less dense than the surrounding
medium. This makes them _______________ (Think
of a direction of movement) because they obtain buoyancy
with respect to their surrounding medium.
16. The handle of a metal spoon in a pot of soup soon becomes warm
because heat is transferred
through physical contact from one atom to another
atom along the length of the spoon via
17. Energy which is transferred across a space from an emitter to
an absorber without affecting the matter in
between is _______________ to that position. When you are warmed by
a fire or the sun, the energy being absorbed
warms the skin by causing an increase in its molecular motion. Virtually
no energy goes into heating the matter in the space between you and
18. The light that we see, as well as all of the energy of the electromagnetic
spectrum, can be
described as being either a _______________
or a _______________. For the purposes of
energy transfer within the sun, it is best to
think of the radiation traveling through this star as a
19. The three interior layers of the sun through which a photon of
light must pass prior to escaping
into space are called the _______________, the
_______________ zone, and the
_______________ zone. The sun produces its energy
in the _______________ which
comprises about 25 percent of its radius.
20. From the center of the sun's core through about 70 percent of
its radius, the mechanism of
energy transport is _______________.
*21. Throughout this zone mentioned in the last statement, energy
is transported via the s of
photons by electrons and the ____________________
(the detachment) of electrons from ions by photons.
22. Throughout the last 30 percent of the solar interior, the dominant
mechanism becomes _______________. *The transition
results from lower temperatures
which allow electrons to begin to attach themselves
onto the nuclei of atoms. Upcoming
radiation excites and ionizes these atoms again
with energy being absorbed in the process. This
causes heat to be trapped at this level and
temperatures to drop more slowly. The result is an
increase in the temperature gradient above this
level to the point where convection can occur.
23. At the sun's "surface" energy escapes and heads into
space via the process of
THE SUN AS A MAGNETIC DYNAMO
If you have not done so already, read the section entitled "Magnetic
Fields" in Session Five and
answer the questions pertaining to magnetic fields in Session Six before
24. All of the visible effects which can be seen on the sun are directly
25. The solar magnetic field probably originates in the CORE/RADIATIVE
CONVECTIVE ZONE (circle one) of the sun's interior.
It results from the flow of
_______________ currents within this region
and the _______________ of the sun, which
may be more rapid than what is observed at the
26. TRUE OR FALSE (circle one): The planets of our solar system all
lie within the magnetic
influences of the sun.
VIEWING THE SUN IN WHITE LIGHT
27. The light-emitting region of the sun, about 100 miles (160 km)
in thickness is called the
_______________. Above this layer, is a 1300
mile (2000 km) region of increasing
temperatures called the _______________. This
area emits light at certain discrete
wavelengths, predominately as a result of the
hydrogen atom. The least dense, but hottest
portion of the solar atmosphere, easily visible
during totality in a solar eclipse, is called the
*28. Through a telescope, the edge of the sun appears less bright
than the center of the disk. This
is termed ____________________ and results from
our ability, to view only the upper regions
of the sun's photosphere near the solar limb.
These areas appear darker because they are
WARMER/COOLER (circle one) than the lower levels
of the photosphere.
29. Describe one safe method by which the sun can be observed in white
30. When viewing the sun through a telescope, it is considered foolish
to use a dark absorbing
filter. Telescopes _____________ the light of
the sun and focus this hot, bright image near the
position of the dark filter causing it to become
hot. If the filter _______________, the observer is
likely to suffer permanent eye damage or even blindness. If you own
one of these accessories, THROW IT AWAY!!!
31. A highly resolved view of the photosphere reveals a speckled "surface"
which is termed
_______________. This phenomenon represents
the end of the line for the energy
transportation mechanism known as _______________.
The brighter regions of these cells
represent warmer gases which are moving ________________,
while the darker cell
boundaries are composed of cooler gases drifting
32. TRUE OR FALSE (circle one): Sunspots are considered to be storms
on the photosphere of
33. In the convective layer of the sun ____________________ can become
intensified. When this happens they can rise
to the surface and cause a slowing of the convection in
that region. This WARMS/COOLS (circle one) that area causing it to EMIT
(circle one) energy. This makes the area appear
LIGHTER/DARKER (circle one) than the
34. This phenomenon as noted in the last statement is called a _______________.
vary in a mysterious _______________ year cycle,
which, if all magnetic considerations are
taken into account, is really a _______________
35. Sunspots can last from _______________ to ______________ and in
examples possess a darker, central region called
the _______________ and a lighter region
termed the _______________. Temperatures are
lower by about 2000 K (3600° F) in the
36. Sunspots near the equator of the sun circuit the sun in a SHORTER/LONGER
period of time compared to sunspots at higher
latitudes. The motion of sunspots proves not only that
the sun is _______________, but at different speeds depending upon the
latitude at which
the spot is found. This difference in the rate
of spin of the sun at various latitudes is called
37. According to Babcock (1960) the _______________ rotation of the
sun causes the magnetic field lines to become
stretched around the sun many times. Entanglement of the field occurs
between 30 and 40 degrees north and south latitude.
The field here becomes intensified and
buoyant, causing it to rise to the surface,
creating the _______________ that we see. Over a
period of years, the regions of highest magnetic
intensity gradually migrate towards the
_____________ as the solar rotation winds up
the field. The opposite fields eventually come
together near the equator and are neutralized.
38. A sunspot group usually appears in two clumps. This indicates
that they are bipolar which
means that they normally contain regions of
_______________ magnetic polarity.
39. During one sunspot cycle the leading spots of each hemisphere
are of the SAME/OPPOSITE
(circle one) polarity. During the next cycle,
the polarities of the leading spots of each hemisphere reverse
themselves, thus making the true magnetic cycle of the sun equal to
a period which
averages _______________ years.
40. Sunspots may have some relationship to climate. The sun's output
of energy is
GREATER/SMALLER (circle one) during sunspot
maximum and just the opposite during
sunspot minimum. During the period between 1645
and 1715 (in regards to sunspot numbers)
has become known as the
_______________ minimum. Europe during this
period (1400-1850) experienced climatically
THREE LAWS OF SPECTROSCOPY
41. A solid, liquid, or gas (under high pressure) when heated and
made to incandesce (glow)
produces a _______________ spectrum.
42. A rarefied gas when made to glow produces bright spectral lines
at wavelengths distinctive
only to that gas. This type of spectrum is called
an _______________ spectrum.
43. A cool, rarefied gas found between a continuous source and an
observer will produce an
44. The name of the German physicist who formulated the three laws
of spectroscopy mentioned
above was Gustav K_______________ (1824-87).
45. According to the man in the previous question, a continuous spectrum
can only be produced
by a solid, liquid or _______________ (under
pressure) which is heated to incandescence. The pressures
in the photosphere are HIGH/LOW (circle one) and WILL/WILL NOT (circle
allow the continuum to be formed in the traditional
manner. In the sun it is the loose attachment
of an extra electron to the _______________
atom which is responsible for the formation of
the continuum. When the extra electron attaches
to form a negative ion, energy of varying
wavelengths is ABSORBED/GIVEN OFF (circle one).
This produces the continuum. When the ion is
ionized, just the opposite situation happens.
OBSERVING THE SUN AT OTHER WAVELENGTHS
46. When white light enters a prism, it is dispersed into the rainbow
of colors known as the
_______________. An astronomical device which
creates such an image, but with a high
degree of resolution (clarity) is called a _______________.
47. When high resolution is obtained, it is noticed that dark _______________
superimposed on the brighter background known
as the _______________. These darker
bands represent the fingerprints of the various
_______________ which the sun or another star contains.
48. Energy is absorbed by various atoms in the solar (level) _______________.
The electrons of
these atoms become ex _______________,
jumping to specific orbital levels which absorb
unique amounts of energy. Eventually, when the
electron spontaneously returns to a lower
energy state, it will em _______________
energy at the same intensity of absorption. The
energy is absorbed unidirectionally, as it leaves
the sun, but emitted randomly with respect to
direction when the electron moves down the energy
ladder. The result is a(n)
_______________ line on the continuous spectrum
where the solar energy of that specific
wavelength has been subtracted.
49. Although most absorption lines are formed in the _______________
of the sun, a few, such
as the hydrogen alpha line (6563 Å), and
the H and K lines of ionized calcium are created in the _______________.
This latter region is transparent in visible light, but not at the wavelengths
of energy which are absorbed in this layer.
If the layer is viewed in the light of one of these specific
_______________ lines, the region can be isolated
for observation. The type of astronomical
instrument which can accomplish this is called
50. Satellite observations of the sun made in the u _______________
x _______________ portions of the electromagnetic
spectrum reveal HOTTER/COOLER
(circle one) regions in the outermost solar
level called the _______________. These areas are
also less dense, so pressures are lower. Magnetic
flux lines extend outward into space and carry plasma
away from the sun in these regions to create the ____________________.
features themselves are called c_______________
h_______________ (two words). .
51. There IS/IS NOT (circle one) a direct relationship between activity
occurring at one level of
the sun and activity occurring at a higher or
lower level. In other words, does solar activity at
one level influence activity in other levels?
MAGNETIC INFLUENCES-- TYING IT ALL TOGETHER
52. Almost all features of the sun can be attributable to the action
and interaction of the sun's
plasma with its ___________________.
53. A _______________ results when a region of high magnetic intensity
breaks into the
photosphere to inhibit convection and cool down
54. This magnetic influence extends far into the sun's corona where
large arcs of gas can be made
to incandesce and travel along the field lines.
These features which protrude from the limb of the sun
are most easily seen in monochromatic light or during a _______________
eclipse of the
sun. These features are called _______________.
55. Along the boundaries of large cells of flowing chromospheric gas,
called supergranules, where
magnetic fields are intensified, jets of gas
called _______________ form. They bob up and
down in periods of only a few minutes and (through
acoustical vibrations--sound waves) may be responsible
for heating the tenuous matter in the sun's _______________ to over
Kelvin (2-6 million F).
56. Through less energetic regions in the solar corona, known as coronal
plasma may leave the gravitational field of
the sun to be swept outward along with the solar
magnetic field. This plasma flow is known as
the ____________________. Coronal holes
appear to be regions where an open magnetic
field exists, allowing gases to flow outward along the
field lines. This lowers the pressure in the hole regions and therefore
_______________ the temperature. Where normal
regions of the corona occur, magnetic fields loop back into the
corona bottling up this plasma, and preventing
its escape. Temperatures and pressures must be
57. _______________ are the most energetic events which occur on the
sun. They are associated with common features
in the photosphere known as _______________. They may possibly be created
by magnetic field lines which become disconnected and spray energetic
58. If this plasma is directed towards earth, radio disruptions and
displays can be the result.