Robert Ringelspaugh Astronomy Prof: Cook A Heliocentric System The sun is our brightest, closest, and the most influential star to Earth. Imagine for a minute if we didn't have the sun, well if we didn't have the sun, there would be no human, animal, or plant life on earth. The sun is an absolute must for the survival of the life on earth. The sun has been worshiped as a god since the beginning of time. The Mayan Indians for example used to sacrifice people as a gift to the sun. So what is the sun, where is it, and how can someone base so much faith on something that is really not even known about? One of the most common misconceptions in early astronomy was that people, and the church believed that the sun rotated around the earth, and that the earth was in the middle of the solar system.
That is when Nicolaus Copernicus came along, and introduced the heliocentric model, which still holds true today. But remember we have only scraped the bottom of our knowledge of the solar system. So who was Nicolaus,he was a young Polish student, studying astronomy, mathematics, medicine, economics, law, and theology. Copernicus worked on his system for nearly forty years; after all of this work he was slow to publish it. He did finally publish it in a book titled On the Revolutions of the Heavenly spheres. Copernicus decided to publish the book for two primary reasons. First, as the centuries passed it was found that Ptolemy's predicted positions for were not in agreement with the carefully observed objects in the sky. The second reason Copernicus sought another model was that he did not believe that the Ptolemaic model was aesthetically pleasing enough. Copernicus pointed out that the Earth was rotating from west to east under a stationary sky produces the same observations as a Ptolemaic model.
How can one star have so much energy? The sun uses nuclear fission, which is the process of hydrogen splitting to form atoms. Which causes energy to form. This is a dream of the earth somehow if you could tap into this energy you would have unlimited energy. There has been a great deal of research done on the topic but there has really never been a completely safe way of creating it. We do however have Nuclear Fusion, which is the process in which two medium Nuclei are broken, with mass being converted into energy in the process. This process is what created the atom bomb. Today we have learned how to control this energy and we now use it for ships, submarines, and power plants. We also have the treat of nuclear weapons of mass destruction. It is hard to believe that all of this is a result of Suns influence on earth.
The sun has three main parts to its atmosphere; they is the photosphere, chromospheres, and the Corona. The Photosphere is the visible surface of the sun. The part of the solar atmosphere from which light is emitted into space. The Chromospheres is the region of the solar atmosphere between the photosphere and the corona. The Corona is outermost portion of the suns atmosphere. I hope you have learned as much as I have about the sun.