Space & Time

Characteristics of the Sun

The distance between the sun and the earth varies because the earth travels in an elliptical rather than circular orbit. The distance is roughly 100 times the sun’s diameter. Turbulence in the photosphere forms granules of various sizes and sunspots. Temperature is a measure of kinetic energy. The dense plasma in the center of the sun is roughly 2500 times hotter than the surface. Gases in the corona have escaped from the sun’s surface and have a very high velocity. The sun’s spectral type, G2, indicates that it is composed of hydrogen, helium, calcium, iron and other metals.