The Layers of the Sun’s Atmosphere in Simple Terms

By: Jacob Priest

We all know the person who tries to describe the physical, interatomic materials that are bashed around in the space way above our heads may misinterpret or mislead our first impression. If not, while explaining the listeners may completely lose understanding ultimately deterring interests of whatever was being explained.

With that being said it is also important if not the key to understanding that in space or any process, for instance, there are multiple, simultaneous, things constantly going on. With some basic ideas laid out, it becomes just a little bit easier to understand these more abstract ideas.

The sun is one of those simultaneous variables that brings life to our planet. Not only with our constant feed of heat and light otherwise known as sunlight, also with its massive size that generates the gravitational field running throughout our solar system. Without the sun you wouldn’t have the beautiful birds you see in the mornings or the special wind they fly in, or even the grass and things that they eat out of the grass.

Understanding the layers of the sun and the processes in the core are important if you are exploring anything that deals with extreme temperatures and pressures. Especially when we are taking a closer look at the complex processes of the sun’s atmosphere.

To lay it out flat there are four layers of the sun’s atmosphere. Starting in the innermost layer of the sun’s atmosphere which is the Photosphere. Being so close to the solar surface the Photosphere is mostly covered by granulation which are the patterns on the surface of the sun. After that is the Chromosphere. Then there is a very thin layer only about 60 miles thick called the Transition Region.

In the Transition Region heat is directed down towards the Chromosphere from the corona, in the process producing a thin layer in the sun’s atmosphere that varies from 1,800,000°F all the way down to 40,000°F.  Last but not least is the outermost layer of the sun’s atmosphere which is called the Corona. The Corona is the hottest layer of all the suns layers, exceeding temperatures even produced in the core.

Unlike the internal layers, in the sun’s atmosphere, as you move away from the innermost layer it seems to get hotter. Scientists don’t know exactly why this happens but they speculate that the sun’s magnetic field plays a role in pulling and or pushing heat in or out from or to the core in different regions of the sun’s atmosphere.

Magnetic fields run wild around the layers of the sun’s atmosphere, which can provide more than enough evidence to speculate further. After all, there are more than 10 million frequencies being produced from gasses churning in the sun’s core, who’s to say that doesn’t play a role.

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