Above the photosphere, transparent to light.
Unlike radiative zone, here atoms not totally ionized.
Therefore, there are electrons in atoms able to absorb light.
Absorption lines in solar spectrum are from these layers in the atmosphere.
Probably same as interior.
Same as seen on Jupiter.
Same as the rest of the Universe.
Very low density
But also very hot
Same as the gas tubes we saw in class and lab.
Energy from below excites the atoms and produces emission from this layer.
Predominant element – Hydrogen.
Brightest hydrogen line – Ha.
Chromosphere = color
Emission from the atmosphere is very faint relative to photosphere.
Violent storms in the Chromosphere.
Giant curved prominances
Long thin spicules.
Photo by Robert Gendler
Spicules and other magnetic activity carry energy up to the Transition Zone.
10,000 km above photosphere.
Temperature climbs to 1,000,000 K
Remember photosphere is only 5800 K
The hot, low density, gas at this altitude emits the radiation we see as the Corona.
The X-Ray Sun
Q: At 1,000,000 K where does a blackbody spectrum have its peak?
Can monitor the Solar Coronasphere in the X-ray spectrum.
Monitor Coronal Holes
At and above the corona:
Gas is very hot
Like steam above our boiling pot of water, the gas ‘evaporates’.
Wind passes out through Coronal Holes
Solar Wind carries away a million tons of Sun’s mass each second!
Only 0.1% of total Sun’s mass in last 4.6 billion years.