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Astronomy 115W The Mysteries of the Sun Astronomers once thought of the sun and other objects as simple gaseous spheres governed by the basic laws of the universe gravity temperature pressure In 1939 the hydrogen fusion reactions that powered the sun were discovered and the detailed model of the interiors of stars all over the universe followed in the 1950s and 60s One strange fact that lingers inside the heads of all astronomers and scientists is that these stars and our own sun are better known than our own earth As astronomers looked closer and closer at the intricacies of the Sun they discovered an enormous changing body of gas that contained the most unpredictable elements and had literally millions of different factors going into every reaction With the technology present today though the Sun may show some of its secrets in the near future Presently there are major new instruments on the ground in the ground and in the air that may uncover many of the ambiguities of our mother star These instruments such as the X-ray telescope and the ultraviolet telescope have given new views to the domains and subsequently new questions have arisen in the world of astronomy These main questions include the solar neutrino problem the Suns strangely complex internal rotation a crisis in the dynamo theory for generating the Suns magnetic phenomena unexplained explosions in the solar atmosphere and the unknown mechanisms that heat the million-degree corona and accelerate the solar wind In first discussing the solar neutrino problem one must first discuss the truly gigantic size of the Sun It has 109 times the diameter of Earth and 333000 times the mass In the center of this star the temperature reaches 156 million degrees Kelvin and the gas density is 151 grams per cubic centimeter These conditions inside are enough to cause nuclear fusion reactions to occur Hydrogen nuclei or protons occasionally collide and fuse to form
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