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The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gass

656 words - 3 pages

The sun is a massive object comprised of intensely hot, ionized gases called plasma. Hot objects, like the sun, have a tendency to expand, however the sun’s size and density give it a very strong gravitational pull which balances out the would-be expansion; the combination of these forces can cause the sun's surface to change in dramatic and sometimes violent ways which I will now explain.
The sun’s enormous magnetic field drives its gases to flow in currents which carry electrons, too superheated to hold on to their atoms, throughout the photosphere, corona and solar interior. These currents cause lines in the magnetic field to twist preventing hotter gases from the sun's core from rising to the surface; which in turn creates darker, cooler areas than the rest of the sun's surface, known as Sunspots. The hot gases trapped below these sunspots exert pressure on the obstructions winding the magnetic field lines into tighter and tighter coils. Sometimes, the magnetic field lines will uncoil without incident; the sunspot fades and the hotter gases rise to the surface as normal, but other times the pressure continues to build until the magnetic field lines snap out suddenly releasing a large amount of energy, this is called Magnetic Reconnection and is better known as a Solar Flare. The explosion produced discharges the equivalent of 160,000,000,000 megatons of TNT.
A solar flare isn't just a visual explosion of hot gases - solar flares affect all layers of the solar atmosphere and in fact most of the energy is spread over frequencies outside the visual range. When a flare occurs, the electrons, protons and heavier ions are all accelerated to near the speed of light producing radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum at all wavelengths. Fortunately, although these can be dangerous to humans, the Earth's atmosphere takes the brunt of the impact from most of these high-energy rays....

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