Stars Have Atmospheres, Too!

Like planets, stars have atmospheres that consist of gases. In fact, any body in space with enough mass to generate the necessary gravitational pull will have an atmosphere. The atmosphere of our sun has three layers: the photosophere, the chromosphere, and the corona. The photosphere is where solar flares happen, and where the sun's energy becomes light. The chromosphere cannot typically be seen against the photosphere's brightness in the background, but you can catch a glimpse of it during a total solar eclipse, when it appears as a red rim around the sun. The corona is likewise only visible during a total solar eclipse, and looks like pearly plumes and loops of gas.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. If you approached the sun in a regulation EVA spacesuit, other types of radiation would kill you before the heat would. 00:21

  2. Most spacesuits are designed to withstand temperatures up to about 400 Kelvin. 01:49

  3. A spaceship approaching the sun could withstand higher temperatures than a person in a spacesuit, but it would also absorb more heat. 02:26

Written by Curiosity Staff January 21, 2016

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