What is the difference between a prominence and a flare?2ND QUESTION:  Why do scientists carefully watch for big coronal flares? Answer in terms of their effect on Earth. 3RD QUESTION: Why do all...

What is the difference between a prominence and a flare?

2ND QUESTION: 

Why do scientists carefully watch for big coronal flares? Answer in terms of their effect on Earth.

3RD QUESTION:

Why do all stars seem to have the same color while you are looking at them in the night sky?

4TH QUESTION:

Explain how a spectrograph works and how it is used in astronomy.

5TH QUESTION :

 What does the color of a star tell about the star, other than its color?

1 Answer | Add Yours

bandmanjoe's profile pic

bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

A prominence on the sun is like a solar storm, staying close to the suns surface.  A promince resembles the swirling action we normally see in a hurricane here on Earth.  The prominence is an interaction of the gases in the suns atmosphere.  A flare, on the other hand, shoots outward into space, similar to a signal flare used here on Earth, where it shoots upward into the sky.  A flare can reach out away from the surface of the sun some significant distance, sending out solar particles and radiation in the form of a solar wind.

Scientist watch for these types of disturbances as they can interfere with Earths magnetic field, affecting our electronic grid and communications capabilities.  The last solar flare caused minor disruptions in cell phone capabilities for a few days.

Stars seem to all appear the same color because of light pollution from cities, the extreme distance we are having to look at them, and general haze from Earths atmosphere.  The closest star to Earth, after the sun, is 1.2 light years away, which makes it appear little more than a twinkling dot in the sky.

A spectrograph collects starlight from stars and feeds it through a prism-like device that breaks it down into its respective colors.  Scientists can tell what elements are in that star by analyzing the color content.

 

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,991 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question