Thermonuclear Fusion Essay

775 Words 4 Pages
1. What is meant by the luminosity of the Sun?
a. The luminosity of the Sun is the total amount of energy that is emitted by the Sun every second. (Slater)
2. What is thermonuclear fusion? Why is this fusion fundamentally unlike the burning of a log in a fireplace?
a. Thermonuclear fusion is the conversion of hydrogen nuclei into helium nuclei.
b. The chemical reaction of burning a log on Earth would cause the outer electrons of the atoms involved to rearrange themselves. But, this change does not affect the atoms’ nuclei. Nuclear fusion is different in that the rearrangement of the outer electrons does affect the atoms’ nuclei.
3. Why does thermonuclear reactions occur only in the Sun’s core, not in outer regions?
a. In order for the Sun
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Neutrinos are the result of the release of particles from protons changing into neutrons. They have no electric charge, react poorly to other matter, and are very difficult to capture.
b. It is useful to study the Sun’s neutrinos because they help us understand what the Sun releases into space.
c. Neutrinos tells us about the thermonuclear process that happens in the Suns core and what is released from the core, which we cannot learn from other venues of research.
7. Briefly describe the three layers that make up the Sun’s atmosphere. In what ways are they different from each other?
a. The photosphere is the “sphere of light” and the first layer of the Sun’s atmosphere. (Slater)
b. The chromosphere is the “sphere of color” and the second layer of the Sun’s atmosphere. (Slater)
c. The corona is the Sun’s outermost region within the atmosphere.
d. These sphere are different in several ways. Their first difference is that they all have different altitudes. They also have different densities and temperatures.
8. How do astronomers know when the next sunspot maximum and sunspot minimum will occur?
a. Astronomers know when the next sunspot maximum and minimum will occur by measuring the differential rotation of the

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