Catte In Sunbeam »« Cheeez Ballzz

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  1. lochaber says

    I was going to say something like 8 or 9 minutes, but I didn’t have a source, and was too lazy to check wikipedia (yes, that lazy…)

    But Scr…Archivist beat me to it, and had a linky.

  2. davehooke says

    From the surface of the sun or from nearer the centre? It takes a photon hundreds of thousands of years (on average) to get to the surface. Then the 8 minutes 20 seconds.

    From the perspective of the photon, no time passes at all. Relativity.

  3. Sunday Afternoon says

    @davehooke:

    The sun is radiative in the middle and convective nearer the surface: http://science.howstuffworks.com/sun3.htm

    But that doesn’t mean that the same photon radiates until the convective zone and then convects to the surface before it leaves the sun. From the link: “Approximately 10^25 absorptions and re-emissions take place in this zone” which, despite what that website says, means that there are around 10^25 photons created/destroyed until the energy gets to the convective zone.

    The broad band distribution of photons that we see are mostly from the “black-body temperature” radiation of the surface of the convection layer of sun: http://casa.colorado.edu/~ajsh/colour/Tspectrum.html

    If we were instead seeing photons from the centre of the sun released by the fusion reactions, their wavelength would make them gamma-rays: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/Curric_7-12/Chapter_2.pdf

  4. birgerjohansson says

    Yeah, the estimate I was taught was 4.5 million years from the centre of the sun to the surface. This is actually longer than the time a photon needs to travel from the Andromeda galaxy!

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