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46 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
What is the sun made up of?
The sun is made up of gases
How strong is the density of the sun?
The density of the sun is very strong. It is 10 times more dense than iron.
What is the center part of the sun called and what is its temperature?
The core is the center of the sun and 10% of its diameter. The temperature of the core is about 15, 000,000,000 degrees C
What effect does the pressure and heat of the sun have on its atoms?
The pressue and heat changes the atoms within its core. It strips away its electrons.
What is the make up of an atom on Earth?
On earth the atom is composed of a nucleus containing protons and neutrons and electrons circle around the nucleus.
What is an atom like in the core of the sun?
The electrons are stripped away from the atom which leaves the nucleus open to be changed by nuclear reacitons.
What type of atom is most common in the sun?
Hydrogen atoms are the most common in the sun.
What is a hydrogen atom made up of?
A hydrogen atom has one electron, and one proton in its nucleus
What happens to hydrogen atoms in the sun?
The electron is lost so only the proton in the nucleus remains.
What is the most common nuclear reaction inside the sun?
Fusion or joining of hydrogen and helium is the most common nuclear reaciton in the sun.
What happens in nuclear fusion?
The nuclei of atoms combine to form large atomic nuclei.
How many steps are there in nuclear fusion and what are they?
Five steps in nuclear fusion
1) two hydrogen protons collide and fuse
2) one of the protons becomes a neutron
3) another proton joins the proton-neutron pr.
making a nulcei with 2 protons and one
4) Two nuclei like this fuse together
5) This fusion then throws off two protons

The reamaing 2 protons and 2 neutrons form the nucleus of a helium atom.
What is given off during each step of nuclear fusion?
Energy is given off at each step of nuclear fusion. This is the energy that causes the sun to shine.
Who was the physicist who developed the theory of relativity?
Albert Einstein in 1905 developed the theory of relativity E = mc2. This says you can measure how much energy (E) can be produced by multiplying mass (m) times the speed of light (c) squared.
What are the inner zones of the sun and what are their temperatures/
The radiative zone around the core has a temperature of 2,500,000 degrees C.

The convective zone has a temperature of 1,000,000 degrees C.
How is energy moved in the radiative zone? the convective zone?
Energy moves through the radiative zone by electromagnetic waves or radiation.

Energ;y moves through the convective zone by convection by heating and cooling the gases.
What surrounds the convective zone of the sun?
The sun's atmosphere which is made up of the 3 outer most regions of the sun.
What is the layer of the sun's atmosphere next to the convective zone? Describe it.
Photosphere is next to convective zone and has a temperature of 6,000 degrees C.
It has a grainy appearance from gases rising from and sinking into the convective zone.
Visible light comes from this sphere and it is considered the sun's surface.
What layer is next to the photosphere? What is its temperature? Describe it.
The chromosphere is next to the photosphere. It's a thin layer with a temperature of 4,000-50,000 degrees C. The gases glow with a red light and move away from and close to the photosphere. This causes jets of hot gas to shoot out from the sun.
What is the outer layer of the sun called? What is its temperature? Describe it.
The outer layer of the sun is called the corona or crown. It is a huge cloud of gas with a temperature of 2,000,000 degrees C. It is thin but keeps most atomic particles from escaping from the sun's surface.
Do the gases in the sun move?
The gases in the sun are constantly moving up and down because of the energy from the core and gravity. The gases also move because the sun rotates on its axis. The parts of the sun rotate at different speeds.
What are sunspots and what causes them?
Sunspots are cooler areas of gas in the photosphere. Magnetic fields slow down convection (less gas transfers) so they are cooler and appear darker
Does the sun have a cycle?
Yes, the sunspot cycle determines how many sunspots there are. It begins with as few sunspots and increases to 100 sunspots over the 11 year cycle. Then the sunspots begin to decrease and the sunspot cycle starts over.
What are prominences?
Prominences are hugh archs of glowing gases caused by the magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere. These arches follow a curved line from one sunspot to another and may last 1 hour to several weeks.
What is a solar flare?
A solar flare is a sudden outward eruption of electrically charged atomic particles that usually occur near sunspots. They only last an hour or less and release some atomic particles into space
What is a magnetic storm?
The particles from a solar flare enter the solar wind and increase its strength. As these particles enter earth's atmosphere it causes a disturbance in the earth's magnetic field causing a magnetic storm about once a year.
These can interfere with radio communications.
What is an aurora?
An aurora is a result of a magnetic storm. It is a band of light in the sky. As the electrically charged atomic particles enter the earth's atmosphere in the solar wind they are pulled toward the magnetic poles by the earth's magnetosphere. Usually happen after a peak in the sunspot cycle and mostly after solar flares.
What is the earth's magnetosphere?
The magnetosphere is the space around the earth containing a magnetic field.
What are the northern and southern lights?
These are auroras seen near the magnetic poles. As the electrical charged particles enter the atmosphere and hit the gas molecules in the upper atmosphere, they produce green, red, blue or violet shades of light.
How often are they visible and where can auroras be seen?
Auroras are visible in the polar regions about 5 times a year, but sometimes are visible near the equator.
Why are sunspots cooler than surrounding areas?
Sunspot areas are cooler than surrounding areas because they are at magnetic fields that slow down the transfer of energy in the convective zone of the sun so the temperatures are cooler there.
In which zone are sunspots found in the sun?
Sunspots are found in the convective zone as the gases move up and down from the core creating magnetic fields.
What is in the solar system?
The solar system is made up of the sun and the bodies that revolve around it.
What is a planet?
Planets are the nine major bodies orbiting the sun.
What is the nebular theory?
This theory by Laplace states that the entire solar system formed at the same time.
What is a solar nebula?
A solar nebula is the cloud of gas and dust that gathered together after the BIG BANG and eventually developed into our solar system.
What is the Big Bang Theory?
That all matter and energy in the universe was compressed (pressed together) that began to expand in all directions billions of years ago forming our solar system.
How did the sun form?
Shock waves from the universe caused the solar nebula (cloud of dust and gas) to form. A star (our sun) began to form in the middle from collisions and pressure from the gravity at the center of the solar nebula. As the temperature increased, hydrogen fusion began and the sun was formed.
How did the planets form?
Planets formed (while the sun was forming) in the outside of the solar nebula. Planetesimals joined together through collisions and force of gravity to form protoplanets. Protoplanets (like magnets) pulled other planetesimals together into planets and moons.
What are the steps in forming a planet
Forming a planet
1) planetesimals-small bodies of matter in
outside of solar nebula
2) Protoplanets-formed from fusion of
3) Planets and moons-protoplanets with
planetesimals joined together.
Can you describe the formation of the earth?
There were 3 steps
1) hot earth to melt iron
2) formed layers of earth
3) separated in 3 layers-core-mantle-crust
4) formation of atmosphere from gases
5) formation of oceans
What determines the composition of a planet?
What are the nine planets made mostly up of?
The distance from the sun influences the composition of planets.
Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are closest to the sun and contain large amounts of the heavier elements such as iron.

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Nepture formed in the cold area of the solar nebula and are made up of helium, hydrogen and frozen gases such as water, methane and ammonia.

Pluto is farthest from the sun and small, cold, and made of frozen solid gases.
Why was the first step in the formation of the earth so hot?
It was very hot for 3 reasons
a) heat from collision with planetesimals
b) increasing weight out added outer layers
c) radioactive materials with high energy
particles on earth that were absorbed
into rocks then converted to heat energy
What caused the layers of the earth? Describe them.
The temperature of earth was hot enough to melt heavy metals (iron) and gravity pulled them toward the center of the earth. Then it divided into 3 layers

1) The inner layer is the CORE made of iron and
2) The next layer is a thick layer of rock called
3) The outermost layer is thin called the CRUST
How did the earth's atmosphere form?
The protoplanet that made earth had too weak a gravitational pull to hold gases.
1) As earth grew (from collisions) more
gravity came to hold hydrogen and helium
2) Volcanic explosions (3 billion yrs. ago) on
earth formed the next layer from gases of
water, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and
3) The sun caused ammonia and water to
change to nitrogen, hydrogen and a little
4) Some hydrogen escaped and when plants
came, more oxygen was produced
5) Some oxygen formed ozone layer
shielding the earth from harmful ultraviolet
radiation of the sun.
How did the oceans form?
As the earth cooled liquid water formed from the water vapor
1) fell as rain to the earth
2) absorbed carbon dioxide from
3) Formed the oceans.