Solar photosphere

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Term: Solar photosphere

The visible surface of the Sun (temperature 5700 K), just below the chromosphere and just above the convective zone. The solar photosphere is a thin layer of roughly 300 km wide. Its temperature decreases uniformly with height, from about 6,600 K (pressure 0.868 millibars) at its bottom, to about 4,400 K (pressure 125 mb), where it merges with the chromosphere. The photosphere has a 'rice-grain' appearance, called granulation, caused by rising (hot) and falling (cool) material in the convective cells just below the photosphere. Other main features of the photosphere are sunspots, faculae, and supergranulation.

Created 2023.04.16
Last Modified 2023.04.16
Contributed by Ryan McGranaghan