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Cosmology again as the last post in this category got some incredible replies.

Many people are aware of the trivia that the sunlight warming your skin takes approximately 8 minutes to cross the void of space to reach the earth. Do you know how long that same photon of light took to emerge from the sun's interior (and if my understanding is correct they are generated at the core)?

Depending on the variables used in the calculations, the range is from 5000 years to 10 million based on the physics of the random photon walk.

[sciencing.com]

[ds9.ssl.berkeley.edu]

WilliamCharles 8 Apr 10
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1

Nothing worse than expired photons past their freshness date.

0

This whole discussion brings to mind the line James Burke gave at the final episode of his series Connections. He said, "People have the ability to understand anything, if it's explained clearly enough." I tend to agree and I think the people in here are a powerful demonstration of that. Well done, all.

2

.100,000yrs for light too emerge from the core

Coldo Level 8 Apr 10, 2018
2

8mins 20sec too reach earth. Will have too work the other one out.

Coldo Level 8 Apr 10, 2018
2

This is a bit off the topic, but the speed of light peaked me to say this.. I fellow I know came up with this when we were talking about god botherers, said to me "If God is omnipitant, then prayers may take around 70000 years to get a replied to, as gods thoughts must be subject to the speed of light too!"

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That's a big ass star!

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Now here's what I was trying to get my head around when discussing this at another website. I asked how long a photon might take to emerge from a supergiant or hypergiant star. The person that offered an answer actually thought it would take less time than our sun because of its overall composition would be less dense. While that might be true in the outer shells, I would think that the sheer mass would make the core and surrounding shells even more dense. Haven't found an answer online though I recall some university physics departments take questions.

[futurism.com]

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My son and I just watched one of Phil Plait's Crashcourse Astronomy episodes on this yesterday! It is indeed mind blowing! I highly recommend Plait's vids, website, and his book "Death from the Skies" for lots of "bong toke" moments! 😉

Excellent choice

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Welcome, little photon!

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A photon being light, wouldn't it travel out at light speed and so roughly the radius of the sun divided by the speed of light? Some minor bending due to gravity? I may be missing something, but often scientists like to make things more complicated than they really are.

It has to do with the fusion process in the sun's core. The pressures cause the atomic structure to change, releasing energy in the form of heat and light. The neutrinos take a direct path, where the photons keep bumping into another atom, get reabsorbed, and then expelled again and again. The distance travelled in these tiny steps is so minute, it takes an incredibly long time to reach the surface.

[phenomena.nationalgeographic.com]

[earthguide.ucsd.edu]

Actually the core of the star is a soup of protons and electrons (no real structured atoms per se), the photons created by the fusion of 2 protons will bounce from electron to electron (like a pin ball) with no clear direction. The closer it gets to the surface, the less dense the soup of electrons and protons, the faster it goes. And yes, it takes several thousand of years to reach the surface and escape the sun.

@WilliamCharles wow, thanks for that, I like to learn as I go, and this is new info for me.

Lukian - The nuclei are still there so while their state is dependent on the conditions at the core, wouldn't they still be atoms? The science speaks of what is happening to hydrogen and helium in the core.

[scienceline.ucsb.edu]

The sun is a plasma which means electrons and nuclei are not organized as atoms but scattered more as a cloud. When 2 single protons (i.e. 2 hydrogen nuclei) fuse then you get a helium nuclei not an whole atom yet. The plasma needs to cool down for 2 electrons to assemble around the nuclei and make a helium atom (2 electrons with a nuclei with 2 protons). While the sun is active the atoms are not organized. (at least that's how I understand it)

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Yep, that photon took a long time to reach the surface. Then 8 minutes to cover the 9.3 mliion miles from the sun to the earth

2

I loved the post...but it has math in it...need time to compute!

Math is not my strong suit either, but I am in awe of those who can decipher the physics of the universe.

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