General, Research, Technology

The most common myths about the Sun: what is worth believing?

The sun is one of the stars in the Milky Way galaxyand the only star in our solar system. If it did not exist, there would be no plants, no animals, and you and me on Earth. And all because the heavenly body saturates our planet with vital energy and the heat radiated by it plays a huge role in almost all chemical processes. This, without exaggeration, the main celestial object has been studied for thousands of years, and during this time, erroneous information about it appeared among the people. Many people believe that the Sun is composed of fiery lava. There is also a widespread belief that it is constantly in the same place and does not move at all. And some people do not even realize that the Sun, to which we owe our lives, will someday destroy our planet. As part of this material, I propose to dispel the most common myths about a star called the Sun.

The sun is the most important celestial object for us, but we know so little about it

Content

  • 1 What is the Sun?
  • 2 What is the Sun made of?
  • 3 Is there water in the sun?
  • 4 How does the sun move?
  • 5 Earth's trajectory around the Sun
  • 6 Will the sun destroy our planet?

What is the Sun?

First, let's take a look at the general information aboutThe sun. It is a star, that is, a spherical celestial body that emits light and is held in outer space due to its own gravity and internal pressure. At its core, it is a huge gaseous ball of hydrogen and helium, in which thermonuclear reactions constantly occur, in which the nuclei of light elements merge under the influence of high temperatures and form larger elements. At the same time, a huge amount of energy is released, part of which reaches our planet and participates in chemical processes vital for all living organisms. The distance from the Sun to the Earth is 149.6 million kilometers. To appreciate the difference in greatness, it's easier to imagine that the Sun is a huge orange, and the Earth is a tiny poppy seed.

Dimensions of the Sun (left) and Earth (right)

What is the Sun made of?

Some people mistakenly believe that the Sunconsists of fiery lava. This, of course, is not true, because scientifically, lava is a volcanic mass of hot rocks. And the closest star to us consists of highly heated gases and is divided into several different layers:

  • solar core, which is the central part of the star withradius of about 175 thousand kilometers. This is some kind of a thermonuclear reactor, where the aforementioned collisions of nuclei with the release of a huge amount of energy take place. It is believed that this "fuel" will last for billions of years of existence of the star;
  • zone of radiant transfer, which is the middle layer of the sun andconsists of hydrogen-helium plasma. This zone got its name because of the way of transferring energy from the core to the surface - radiation. In the core of the Sun, particles of light are formed, referred to as photons. To reach the outer layers of a star, they need to pass through a layer of hydrogen-helium plasma. Along the way, the photons bump into plasma particles, which absorb them and re-emit them in a random direction. So, if the photons escaping outward reach the Earth in 8 minutes, then it may take them millions of years to pass through the middle layer of the Sun, but sooner or later they overcome all obstacles;
  • convective zone, which accounts for two-thirds of the volume of the sun. Energy transfer also takes place in this layer, but this time due to convection - a way of transferring energy by flows of substances. This phenomenon constantly occurs around us, for example, when a hot water battery heats up the air in a room.

If we talk about the chemical composition of the Sun, then italmost the same as that of all other stars. It is about 75% hydrogen, 25% helium and about 1% other elements like carbon, oxygen and nitrogen.

Is there water in the sun?

Many people are sure that the hot sun does notmaybe water. And this sounds quite logical, because liquid cannot exist in such a hot place. But remember your school chemistry curriculum - the formula for water is very simple and consists of hydrogen and oxygen. But above we have already found out that these elements are on the hot star and there are quite a few of them. Scientists assure that the water molecule is one of the most durable in the Universe and it does not collapse under the influence of high temperatures. But the DNA molecule, from which life can arise, cannot exist in such extreme conditions, although all the components for its creation are there.

Scientists of the Middle Ages believed that sunspots were lakes of water. In part, they were right

It is important to note that water molecules canform only in areas of the Sun with a minimum temperature. While the sun as a whole heats up to 5.5 thousand degrees Celsius, the sunspots on its surface have a temperature of about 4.5 thousand degrees. Researchers believe that it is in these places that water can form. But you need to understand that she exists in molecular form, not liquid... According to experts from the NASA space agency, if the temperature of the Sun ever drops, then the water on it can take on a liquid form.

Also, the Sun can make very strange sounds. You can read about this phenomenon in this material.

How does the sun move?

Since school years, we know that the Earth andother planets in the solar system revolve around the sun. Therefore, it is logical to assume that the Sun itself is constantly in the same place and does not move at all. But this is far from the case - it also moves, and at a very high speed, but we do not notice this at all, because we move together with the Sun and go along with it a very long way. Sounds complicated? Let's take a closer look at this phenomenon.

The approximate location of the Sun in the Milky Way galaxy

As we know, the solar system is located inone of the corners of the spiral Milky Way galaxy. It contains a huge number of other cosmic bodies that revolve around the center of the Milky Way. And including the Sun, with a speed of about 217 kilometers per second. This figure may seem truly crazy, but we do not even notice this speed, because the scale of our galaxy is huge and we do not even understand all its greatness. The Sun makes one revolution around the center of the galaxy in 250 million years, that is, in one galactic year.

Did you know that the Milky Way galaxy is much larger than we think?

Earth's trajectory around the Sun

Another common myth says that insummer season The sun is closer to the Earth than in winter. This fact is incorrect from the point of view of the inhabitants of Russia, and in Africa it can be considered partly true. From time to time, our native Earth really approaches the celestial body a little closer. The fact is that the trajectory of our planet's motion around the Sun is not an even circle, but an elongated ellipse. So, during the year, our planet gets closer to the hot star. In Russia, this happens around January 3-4, and it is at this time that the Sun can be seen in the sky from the closest possible distance. And in Africa this moment falls on the summer - that is, for the inhabitants of this region in the summer, the Earth is really located closer to the Sun. Of course, the approach of the Sun affects the temperature on Earth. However, the change appears to be negligible and the average temperature rises by only 2-3 degrees Celsius.

The location of the planets in the solar system

The approach of the Earth to the Sun is insignificant. But such planets as dwarf Pluto have a more "flattened" trajectory of motion. The dwarf planet makes a circle around the Sun slowly, so one year there lasts about 250 Earth years. During the Plutonian summer, the distance between Pluto and the Sun is 4.5 billion kilometers, and in the winter period increases to 7.5 billion. If the trajectory of the Earth around the Sun were the same, then the average temperature in winter would be about minus 50 degrees Celsius, and this is only in the considered warm equator. And at the poles, the thermometers would show minus 150 degrees. In general, we simply would not have survived. How good it is that the Earth moves, though not in an ideal, but a circle.

Will the sun destroy our planet?

As scary as it is to realize it, but yes,someday the Sun who gave us life will destroy us. According to scientists, this will happen when there is no thermonuclear "fuel", that is, hydrogen, in the interior of the star. I mentioned above that it should last for billions of years, so our and many future generations have nothing to worry about yet. It is believed that after emptying the fuel, the Sun will swell to a huge size and begin to emit even more energy. This will lead to the fact that even before the depletion of hydrogen reserves, all life will gradually be erased from the face of the Earth and it will be a dry desert.

Someday the sun will destroy our planet

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According to the calculations of the researchers, up to this pointthere are at least 5 billion years left. This is much more than it has been since the days of the dinosaurs. Most likely, by this time people will have already set foot on several future stages of evolution and even migrated to other, safer planets. But we will be able to colonize Mars already this century, because the well-known Elon Musk has already developed a plan and is developing spaceships for long-distance flights with might and main. But, if you think about it, even the colonization of Mars will not save us, because he, too, is believed around the Sun. Therefore, it remains to be hoped that by that time humanity will learn to conquer other stellar systems.