The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Temperature of the Sun's Corona

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Prentice Hall Earth Science. Engelwood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1987: 73. "Gas particles in the corona can reach temperatures of up to 1,700,000 °C" 1,700,000 K
"Sun."Compton's Encyclopedia. Chicago: Compton's, 1996: 708. "The corona has a temperature of about 2,000,000 K" 2,000,000 K
Clark, Stuart. Stars and Atoms. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995: 106. "1,000,000 K at the outer atmosphere (the corona)" 1,000,000 K
"The Sun." World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago: Childcraft, 1977: 784c. "Above the chromosphere is a region called the corona which has a temperature from 2,000,000 °F - 3,000,000 °F" 1,100,000 K
1,700,000 K
Soper, Davison. Corona. University of Oregon, 1999. "It is very hot (106 K)" 1,000,000 K

The sun is made up of four layers. The main layer is the innermost called the core. Just above the core is the photosphere, above that the chromosphere, and above that the corona; the outer most layer of the sun's atmosphere. The temperature of the corona is the second highest of all the other layers of the sun topped only by the temperature of the core.

In doing the research I noted that the temperature of the corona was mostly recorded in a range such as 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 K, whereas the temperatures of the other layers were more exact numbers. This is because the temperature drops slowly as you move from the corona into space. The variance in temperature is also due to the fact that the sun's corona has no defined boundary. So where one person measured can be further out than another leading to that person determining a lower temperature. Though the corona's temperature is high it's molecules are so far apart that the gases release little heat. If a person were to stand on the sun's corona they wouldn't burn, they would freeze in the near vacuum of the corona.

C'Cora Thomas -- 2000