How do parts of the sun get colder than other parts? Cause if something is really how is some of it cold and others are hot?

I assume by temperature variations in the Sun, I assume you mean based on the layers, not among the surface (where any variation is small and negligible, due to solar magnetic activity).  The Sun, just like the Earth, has different layers and these layers have different properties - what it consists of, pressure, density, temperature, etc.  

Just as with the Earth, the core of the Sun where fusion takes places (producing energy and heat), is the hottest.  As you move to the surface and away from this energy source (just as with the Earth), the temperature drops.  However, with the Sun, the corona, which is the layer towards the surface, heats up again, which is a bit of a mystery to scientists.  We think that convection, the process of mixing temperatures (like a fan in an oven), causes the heat to move around and surface towards the top, but solar physicists (those who study the Sun), are still trying to figure this out!



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Brad Tucker


I'm happy to answer any general questions about Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Cosmology. I'm also happy to take general, specific, and detailed questions related to supernovae, Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations, the Cosmic Microwave Background, dark matter, dark energy, and the Big Bang Theory. I'm also happy to chat about Astronomy/Astrophysics education and careers, and philosophy and science.


I am a professional research astronomer/astrophysicist/cosmologist. My research focuses on studying supernovae and using them to measure the properties of the Universe, such as how fast it is growing and what it is made of. I also frequently give talks to school groups and the public, and am a regular guest on various radio stations.

Current Research Fellow at Mt. Stromlo Observatory, the Australian National University, and in the Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley.

Lots of journals, including the Astrophysical Journal, the Astronomical Journal, and Nature. I am currently in the middle of writing my first popular book.

B.A. Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN USA B.A. Theology, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN USA B.Sc. Physics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN USA Ph.D. Astrophysics, Mt. Stromlo Observatory, the Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

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