The Photosphere

At A Glance:

  • Thin Region Between The Convection Zone And Chromosphere
  • Emits Visible White Light: The Light We See When We Look At A Star
  • The Densest Part Of A Star's Atmosphere
  • 'Sunspots', 'Granulations', And Many Other Surface Features Can Be Seen In The Photosphere
  • Huge Plumes Of Gas Are Ejected From The Photosphere High Into The Star's Atmosphere

In Depth:

The photosphere is a relatively thin region (Only in the hundreds of kilometers thick in our sun) that lies between the convection zone and the chromosphere. "Photosphere" literally means sphere of light; It is the region responsible for a majority of the visible light emitted from a star. It is the densest part of the atmosphere - much more dense than gases found in the chromosphere and corona. Still, the density here (for an average sized star like the sun) is much less than even the density of air on earth. Due to forces of convection, huge plumes of gas are shot out of the photosphere high into the star's atmosphere.

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