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On the Temperature of the Photosphere: Energy Partition in the Sun

Author(s): Robitaille P.-M.

Journal: Progress in Physics
ISSN 1555-5534

Volume: 3;
Start page: 89;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Photosphere | energy partition | convection currents | convective granules

In this note, energy partition within the Sun is briefly addressed. It is argued that the laws of thermal emission cannot be directly applied to the Sun, as the continuous solar spectrum (Tapp 6; 000 K) reveals but a small fraction of the true solar energy profile. Without considering the energy linked to fusion itself, it is hypothesized that most of the photospheric energy remains trapped in the Sun’s translational degrees of freedom and associated convection currents. The Sun is known to support both convective granules and dierential rotation on its surface. The emission of X-rays in association witheruptive flares and the elevated temperatures of the corona might provide some measure of these energies. At the same time, it is expected that a fraction of the solar energy remains tied to the filling of conduction bands by electrons especially within sunspots.This constitutes a degree of freedom whose importance cannot be easily assessed. The discussion highlights how little is truly understood about energy partition in the Sun.
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