CSI 769-001/PHYS 590-001        Solar Atmosphere                         Fall 2004
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CSI 769-001/PHYS 590-001 Solar Atmosphere Fall 2004 Lecture 01 Sep. 01, 2004. Some Basics. Jie Zhang. The Sun as a Star. A main sequence star 5 billion years old 5 more billion years to go Temp. 5800 K ~ 6000 K Diameter: 695,000 km

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CSI 769-001/PHYS 590-001 Solar Atmosphere Fall 2004

Lecture 01 Sep. 01, 2004

Some Basics

Jie Zhang


The sun as a star
The Sun as a Star Fall 2004

A main sequence star

5 billion years old

5 more billion years to go

Temp. 5800 K

~ 6000 K

Diameter: 695,000 km

~ 700,000 km

A gas ball


The sun in the galaxy
The Sun in the Galaxy Fall 2004

At the edge of Milk Way

28,000 light years

From the center


The sun and the earth
The Sun and the Earth Fall 2004

Distance: 1 AU (Astronomical Unit, average distance)

1 AU = 150 million km = 1.5e8 km

1 AU = 200 Rs (Rs: solar radius)

Light Travel Time: 8 minutes

Solar Wind Travel Time: 100 hours or 4 days (at 400 km/s)


Model of solar atmosphere
Model of Solar Atmosphere Fall 2004

(1) Photosphere (2) Chromosphere (3) Transition Region (4) Corona


The discovery of corona
The Discovery of Corona Fall 2004

  • Solar Eclipse Observations

  • since Babylonian report in 1063 BC (?)

  • Coronal ray noticed by Kepler (1571-1630), but thought moon origin

  • Coronal ray also thought to be Earth atmosphere origin or artifacts

  • When it was recognized as solar origin, it posed as a great puzzle

  • How to explain the extended structure?

  • How to explain the green line at 5303 Å?

  • Broad line width of Green line 0.9 Å (Lyot 1939)

  • Green line was later identified as from Fe XIV, highly ionized ion.

  • With line width and element mass, temperature can be derived


Solar eclipse
Solar Eclipse Fall 2004


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