Astronomy

The sun and the life

The sun and the life

One of the few points on which current scientists agree with those of antiquity is that the Sun is the source of all life on Earth. The continuous flow of radiant energy that bathes the surface of our planet, and that comes from that authentic thermonuclear hell that is the Sun, has allowed life to develop and prosper.

The most precise studies on the Sun have revealed that our star king has no truly solid areas. It appears as a huge ball of gas, in whose center the gravitational pressure is so high as to make the gas become semi-solid.

The Sun has a luminous yellow surface, known as photosphere, with a variable temperature between 10,000 ° C and 4,400 ° C in the outermost part. They are extremely high temperatures, but almost worthless compared to those of its core that, it is estimated, would exceed 15 million degrees Celsius. On the photosphere there is a pink gas cover that has temperatures ranging between 4,400 and one million degrees Celsius. It is known as chromosphere.

The most external and extensive region of the Sun that is known is the crown, composed of vapors, filaments and rays of white light. The gas that feeds it is about two million degrees Celsius and, precisely because of these very high temperatures, the ionized gas of the corona (called plasma), is propelled from the surface of the Sun into space. These particles of the solar corona constitute the solar wind, which reaches Earth.

Sunspots, one of the best known phenomena of our star, are probably gas vortices caused by complicated gaseous currents of the Sun. When solar activity is very intense, the so-called bumps, luminous tongues coming out of the chromosphere, and The famous eruptions.

There are many relationships between solar phenomena and life on Earth. An obvious relationship is that between solar activity and plant growth. The thickness of tree rings is greater during the time of maximum activity of the Sun.

One of the basic phenomena in the evolution of living beings on our planet is photosynthesis, a process by which organisms with chlorophyll, such as green plants, algae and some bacteria, capture energy in the form of light and transform it into chemical energy. Virtually all the energy that consumes the life of the terrestrial biosphere comes from photosynthesis and, without the Sun, it would be impossible.

It is even speculated that the history of humanity may be influenced by it. In 1789, the year of the French Revolution, there was the maximum solar activity. Perhaps it was only one case, because other important historical events occurred in periods of low activity.

The still existing questions about our star are many. The first among all is related to his life: how long will the Sun continue to provide the Earth with vital energy? The vital process of the Sun is the same that provides the energy for an H-bomb and the Sun itself is comparable to the controlled explosion of millions and millions of hydrogen bombs that explode continuously. Only one thing can be said: when this cycle is interrupted and the Sun goes out, billions of years will have passed.

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