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How hot is the sun (surface and core) in Fahrenheit?

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We've all looked up at the sky, looked away to preserve our vision, and marveled at the glowing orb in the sky that powers everything on our planet. But, have you ever asked the question: just how hot is the sun? The sun is one of the hottest objects in the universe. In fact, it's so hot that there isn't even a liquid or even a solid on its "surface".

Here, we'll find out why you can never land on the sun. We'll discover how this giant photosphere gets its energy, and what creates its light. First, we'll learn about the layers of the sun, from the inside out, and discover that not every part of the sun is as hot as the rest. Finally, we'll answer the big question: How hot is the sun?

What is the sun?

The sun is the largest star in the solar system.

©Lukasz Pawel Szczepanski/Shutterstock.com

The sun is a star. However, it's no ordinary star: it's a yellow dwarf, officially classified as a G2 V star. G2 stars are the second hottest stars in the G class. The sun is at the center of the solar system; it is a whopping 93 million miles away from Earth. Additionally, the Sun is 4.5 billion years old and accounts for more than 99% of the solar system's mass. It has a radius 109 times that of Earth and weighs about 330,000 times that of Earth.

Sun: layered like an onion

When you ask the question: how hot is the sun? , it's important to realize that not every part of the sun is as hot as the next. In fact, the sun is composed of different celestial bodies and atmospheres. Like the layers of the Earth, each layer of the Sun has its own specific composition and average heat. Taken together, they radiate heat and light nearby at a near constant rate known as the solar constant. Without the solar constant, there would be no life on Earth.

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1. core

The core is where everything happens. The core is located at the center of the sun and is subject to a huge gravitational pull. This gravity creates extreme pressure. The pressure is so high in fact that it causes the hydrogen atoms in the core to collide with each other. These collisions are so intense that they actually create a new element: helium. This process is called nuclear fusion, and it's the source of all the heat and light in our solar system.

The temperature at the Sun's core is 27,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the hottest part of the sun and all the heat is radiated from here. Eventually, it reaches us in the form of light and heat from the sky.

2. Radiation area

Each layer has a different temperature. The radiant zone is the layer surrounding the core, and the temperature closest to the core is about 7-12 million degrees Fahrenheit. The outside of this zone is closer to 2-4 million degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Convection zone

The last layer that makes up the solar body is the troposphere. This layer is made up of plasma, which is very hot and is constantly bubbling up to the "surface". The temperature of the convection zone is about 4 million degrees Fahrenheit; as the plasma bubbles outward, it transfers heat to the "surface" of the sun. However, the surface of the sun is mainly composed of plasma. Due to the extreme heat, no liquid or solid could exist there.

atmosphere of the sun

The temperature at the Sun's core is 27,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The sun's surface temperature is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Beyond the surface, the Sun's atmosphere has three distinct layers: the photosphere, chromosphere, and corona. Let's look at these three questions to help us answer this question: How hot is the sun?

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1. Photosphere

The photosphere is the first layer of the sun's atmosphere. The layer closest to the surface is the layer that produces the light we see during the day. Because it's at the surface, the temperature of the photosphere is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, the photosphere is where sunspots occur. Sunspots are cold spots in the photosphere. They emit less light than hot spots, which makes them appear dimmer.

2. Chromosphere

To know how hot the sun is, you have to travel outward from the sun's plasma surface, across the photosphere, to the chromosphere. The chromosphere is the second layer of the Sun's atmosphere; it extends 200 miles above the plasma surface. The temperature range of the chromosphere is 7,200-11,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Corona

The corona is perhaps the most visually stunning part of the sun. This atmosphere extends thousands of miles beyond the surface of the plasma. This is the bright halo you see when viewing a solar eclipse. Based on the principle of radiant heat and the fact that the sun's core is the hottest part, you might think that the corona is the coldest part of the sun.

In fact, quite the opposite. For reasons scientists still don't understand, the corona heats up to 1.8 million degrees Fahrenheit. So, aside from being no cooler than the photosphere and chromosphere, the corona is actually the hottest part of the Sun's atmosphere.


How long will the sun last?

How far is the earth from the sun and other planets?

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How much energy does the sun produce?

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earth sun
The sun is the largest star in our solar system

© Lukasz Pawel Szczepanski/Shutterstock.com

about the author

Brandi Allred

Brandi is a professional writer by day and a fiction writer by night. Her nonfiction work focuses on animals, nature, and conservation. She has degrees in English and Anthropology and writes horror, science fiction and fantasy stories in her spare time.

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