How hot is the Sun?

The sun is a superhot ball of nuclear powered that provides energy for the planets that orbit it.

The sun is important for sustaining life on the Earth and without the sun, life as we know it would cease to exist. The energy harvested from the sun is used for various purposes, including heat and nutrition (for crops and humans) as well as energy (in the form of electricity). Standing under direct sunlight, you can feel the heat of it on your body. The intensity of the heat when Earth is this far away from the sun, makes one wonder, how hot is the sun actually?

We know that sun is a star and stars are packed with massive energy and heat. The sun has a massive nuclear core and the heat actually varies depending on the layers. Earth has layers that being with the surface and end with the core at the center of the planet. Similarly, the Sun also has layers that end with an epic hot core in the center of that star.

At the core of the sun, the gravitational force creates immense pressure and this results in the high temperatures. The hydrogen atoms get compressed and fuse together creating helium, this process is known as nuclear fusion. The fusion and pressures can result in temperatures up to 27 million degrees Fahrenheit (15 million degrees Celsius).

As we gravitate away from the center, the pressure decreases and so does the temperature, resulting in temperatures to be around 12.6 million to 3.6 million Fahrenheit (7 million to 2 million Celsius). The next layer, known as the convective zone (which carries heat to the surface) ranges around 3.6 million Fahrenheit (around 2 million degrees Celsius) and less.

The next layer is the energy that reaches the surface of the sun, or photosphere, producing the light visible from Earth is around 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit (5,500 degrees Celsius). Temperatures in the corona can rise drastically (which can also be seen during an eclipse as plasma flows outward. The corona can get a hot as 3.5 million degrees Fahrenheit (2 million degrees Celsius). As the corona cools, the heat and radiation is blown off as the solar wind.

Image Courtesy: space.com

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