sun layers solar

‘Cause I’m Hot to Trot

From hot to hottest. From relatively cool to fantastically hot, cold to hot? But the wrong way round?

Why is the Sun, our plasma star, hotter as you go further away from its surface? The Suns ‘surface’ is only around 6,000 C yet a few hundred miles above it the temperature is millions of degrees.

The Nasa mission was launched back in August to study the mysteries of the Sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona. This region is strangely hotter than the star’s ‘surface’, or photosphere. While this can be 6,000 degrees Celsius, the outer atmosphere may reach temperatures of a few million degrees.

The mechanisms that produce this super-heating are not fully understood. Parker aims to solve the puzzle by passing through the outer atmosphere and directly sampling its particle, magnetic and electric fields… “We want to understand why there is this temperature inversion, as in – you walk away from a hot star and the atmosphere gets hotter not colder as you would expect.”
Parker Solar Probe: Sun-skimming mission starts calling home | BBC

Massive energy potential differences?

sun layers cold hot to hottest

They are shown in order of temperature from the first one at 6,000 degree C. surface, out to about 10 million degrees C. in the upper atmosphere. Yes, the Sun’s outer atmosphere is much, much hotter than the surface. Scientists are getting closer to solving the processes that generate this phenomenon.

… so in this layer (and higher layers) it actually gets hotter if you go further away from the Sun, unlike in the lower layers, where it gets hotter if you go closer to the center of the Sun.
Image: Solar surface from hot to hottest |

The Suns electromagnetic observable layers – coldest nearer the interior/core to potentially unlimited hottest as you go further out to its exterior.

why the Sun’s magnetic waves strengthen and grow as they emerge from its surface, which could help to solve the mystery of how the corona of the Sun maintains its multi-million degree temperatures.

For more than 60 years observations of the Sun have shown that as the magnetic waves leave the interior of the Sun they grow in strength but until now there has been no solid observational evidence as to why this was the case.

The corona’s high temperatures have also always been a mystery. Usually the closer we are to a heat source, the warmer we feel. However, this is the opposite of what seems to happen on the Sun—its outer layers are warmer than the heat source at its surface.
Scientist leads international team to crack 60-year-old mystery of Sun’s magnetic waves

The Parker probe traced the slow wind back to small coronal holes dappled around the sun’s equator – solar structures that had not previously been observed. Coronal holes are cooler, less dense regions, through which magnetic fields stream out into space, acting as channels for the charged particles to flow along.

“The corona is a million degrees, but the sun’s surface is only thousands,” said Prof Tim Horbury, “It’s as if the Earth’s surface temperature were the same, but its atmosphere was many thousands of degrees. How can that work? You’d expect to get colder as you moved away.”
Nasa’s Parker Solar Probe beams back first insights from sun’s edge | The Guardian (2019)

Suns observable atmospheric layers

What is happening in the layer calmly called the solar Transition Region? Large change in temperature, energy, transformation, potential difference?

sun layers solar hot hottest temperatures

How and why is the Sun colder, less energetic, as you get further into its internal atmospheric layers and hidden core?

Photosphere – The photosphere is the deepest layer of the Sun that we can observe directly. It reaches from the surface visible at the center of the solar disk to about 250 miles (400 km) above that. The temperature in the photosphere varies between about 6500 K at the bottom and 4000 K at the top (11,000 and 6700 degrees F, 6200 and 3700 degrees C). Most of the photosphere is covered by granulation.

Chromosphere – The chromosphere is a layer in the Sun between about 250 miles (400 km) and 1300 miles (2100 km) above the solar surface (the photosphere). The temperature in the chromosphere varies between about 4000 K at the bottom (the so-called temperature minimum) and 8000 K at the top (6700 and 14,000 degrees F, 3700 and 7700 degrees C)

Transition Region – The transition region is a very narrow (60 miles / 100 km) layer between the chromosphere and the corona where the temperature rises abruptly from about 8000 to about 500,000 K (14,000 to 900,000 degrees F, 7700 to 500,000 degrees C).

Corona – The corona is the outermost layer of the Sun, starting at about 1300 miles (2100 km) above the solar surface (the photosphere). The temperature in the corona is 500,000 K (900,000 degrees F, 500,000 degrees C) or more, up to a few million K. The corona cannot be seen with the naked eye except during a total solar eclipse, or with the use of a coronagraph. The corona does not have an upper limit.
Layers of the Sun | NASA

The observable solar layers

You could look at the images of the solar atmospheric layers and their temperatures that strangely reduce in heat as you go from its external atmosphere towards its inner and surface layers, in a different way.

sun layers solar

Is the temperature a way of observing or inferring the potential differences of electrons and other stuff? Especially the incredible Transition Region that is only 60 miles wide but the temperature goes up or down from 500,000 Centigrade to only 8000 Centigrade. Does this show ‘Electric’ Potential Difference?

sun solar temperature layers hot cold

The Sun’s outer corona consists of plasma whose temperature exceeds one million degrees. This extremely hot corona is located only a few hundred kilometres above the solar surface known as the photosphere that maintains its temperature around 6000 degrees.

A longstanding problem is the energy source for the corona and a mechanism that deposits this energy and heats the corona to such high temperatures. Despite numerous space and ground-based observations, and extensive theoretical efforts, the problem still remains unsolved.
Discovery of Confined Pseudo-shocks as a New Energy Source for the Heating of Sun’s Corona