Structure of the Sun

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Questions in this category have been asked by MT, PJ, DC, EB, SR

  • Where are the convection & radiative zones?
    • What causes the transition?
    • How does opacity vary throughout the convective layer?
    • What causes the opacity?
    • How does the picture change for a 5 Solar Mass Star?
    • What about at 0.2 Solar Mass Star? Why?
  • Does the Sun rotate & how do we know?
    • Where does it rotate fastest?
    • Is it solid body rotation?
    • How has this been confirmed experimentally?
  • What will happen to the sun after it leaves the main sequence? (PJ)
    • How does the energy released in this phase compare with the energy released during the main sequence?
    • Draw the rest of the evolutionary track for the sun and describe the physics of all the phases.
  • What are the line-broadening mechanisms and where do they occur?
  • What is the surface temp. of the sun? What is the core temp?
  • What is the level of variability of the sun? How does this compare to the variability of other stars?


  • What is the energy produced for the reaction involving neutrino?
    • What are the experiments to detect the neutrinos and the reactions involve.
  • What is our current best estimate of the neutrino mass, and how is it obtained?
  • How was SN1987A used to place a limit on the neutrino mass? What was this limit? (MT)

Nuclear Burning

  • Write down PPI. Which is the slowest step, and what is its lifetime?
  • If the nuclear burning in the sun turned off instantaneously, when would we know? (SR)