How Hot Is The Sun?

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labrat256's profile pic

labrat256 | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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The centre of the sun is about 15,700,000 kelvins (at that heat and inaccuracy, similar to Celsius) according to our best models, although we could never really know. The photosphere (the visible outer shell of the sun) is about 5,780 kelvins (about 5,510 celsius). 

Curiously, the bit just outside what we would consider the 'surface' (corona) of the sun is actually hotter than the 'surface' itself. The corona of the sun is about 5,000,000 kelvins.

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arrellbelle's profile pic

arrellbelle | Student, College Sophomore | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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The temperature of the sun can be at 5778K, or 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there are these sunspots that are reportedly much cooler than the rest of the sun. If you measure the exact center of the sunspots, these temperatures can range to about 4,000 degrees Celsius or 7,300 degrees Fahrenheit. 

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fact-finder | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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The surface, or photosphere, of the sun is about 10,000° Fahrenheit (5,500° Celsius). Cool, dark areas of magnetic disturbance that erupt on the photosphere, called sunspots, are only about 6,700° Fahrenheit (4,000° Celsius).

The layer of the sun's atmosphere that lies just beyond the photosphere, called the chromosphere, is only about 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers) thick. Where it meets the photosphere, the chromosphere is about 7,800° Fahrenheit (4,300° Celsius). The temperature rises throughout the chromosphere. Where the chromosphere merges with the sun's outermost atmospheric layer, the corona, it is about 180,000° Fahrenheit (100,000° Celsius). Temperatures rise to 3,600,000° Fahrenheit (2,000,000° Celsius) in the part of the corona that's farthest from the sun.

The sun is hottest at its center—about 27,000,000° Fahrenheit (15,000,000° Celsius)!

Sources: Abell, George O. Realm of the Universe, 5th ed., pp. 225-28; Asimov, Isaac. Isaac Asimov's Guide to Earth and Space, pp. 159-61; Moore, Patrick. Atlas of the Solar System, p. 19.