The sun – our main source of energy © Siemens Stiftung 2017 CC BY-SA 4.0 international

The sun – our main source of energy

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Labeled graphic:
A cross section through the sun shows the temperature and density profiles in the individual spheres. The energy comes from nuclear fusion in the interior of the sun.

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2018-07-27
The sun’s radiant energy is the motor driving the processes that are vital for life on Earth’s surface. Energy is created by nuclear fusion in the interior of the sun and is diffused after about 10 million years to the surface of the sun (photosphere), which emits it as radiation to Earth. The radiant energy that finally reaches Earth is therefore ancient.
The temperature profile through the cross-section of the sun shows the temperature decrease from the core to the photosphere and the temperature increase from the photosphere to the corona.
Note: The “snake lines” in the picture symbolize the emerging radiation and its wavelength
The radiation that reaches Earth is emitted from the photosphere.

Information and ideas:
From what point of view is the sun an inexhaustible source of energy? What explanation is there for the fact that the temperature rises again from the photosphere to the corona? By the way: The mechanisms for heating up in the chromosphere are largely unexplained!
Illustration
Geography; Physics; Technology
Grade 5 to 6; Grade 7 to 9; Grade 10 to 13
Middle/high school
Energy; Environment (general); Nuclear fusion; Power generation; Renewable energy; Solar energy
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© Siemens Stiftung 2017
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