Question

What is the hottest part of the Sun?

Asked by: David Bloom

Answer

The center of the sun is the hottest part (at around 15 million Kelvins, or 27 million degrees Fahrenheit). The temperature then drops to 5,800 K (10,000 degrees F) at the visible surface, although the corona (the part just above the surface, where solar flares are), can get much hotter (2 million K, or 3.6 million degrees F).

I found this information and tons of really neat stuff (pictures, movies, etc.) at http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/ , which is the homepage for NASA's SOHO (SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory) project. For a good intro, click on "Classroom" (on the left hand side, under the "RESOURCES" heading), and then on the section for "The Sun 101" course.

Answered by: Gregory Ogin, Physics Undergraduate Student, UST, St. Paul, MN

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Science Quote

'Our loyalties are to the species and the planet. We speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring.'

Carl Sagan
(1934-1996)