Zirin, Harold Formerly, Department of Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.
Pasachoff, Jay M. Hopkins Observatory, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts.
- Solar Structure
- Energy production
- Solar atmosphere
- Solar physics
- Solar wind
- Coronal holes
- Solar Activity
- Evolution of weak fields
- Solar-terrestrial effects
- Total Solar Irradiance
- Solar Instruments
- Disk telescopes
- Birefringent filter
- Interference filters
- Space instruments
- Solar Eclipses
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The star around which the Earth revolves, and the planet's source of light and heat, hence life. The Sun is a globe of gas, 1.4 × 106 km (8.65 × 105 mi) in diameter with a mass 333,000 times that of the Earth, held together by its own gravity (Table 1). The surface temperature of the Sun is about 6000 K (10,000°F); since solids and liquids do not exist at these temperatures, the Sun is entirely gaseous. Almost all the gas is in atomic form, although a few molecules exist in the coolest surface regions, such as sunspots (Fig. 1).
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