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Thread: The surface of the sun

  1. #1 The surface of the sun 
    not ADM!N grmpysmrf's Avatar
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    Hello, I'm new here.

    I'm very interested in astronomy and occasionally end up with weird questions that the net can't answer.

    I was wondering what the surface of the sun would look like if all of the sudden it went cold.

    I don't mean red gianted or white dwarfed... I mean someone flipped a switch and all of that plasma that looks like lava was no longer hot enough tp boil and look like lava.

    Would it become a gas planet? would it end up with a surface? can gas or plasma freeze? What would it look like?

    Thanks


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  3. #2  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Would it become a gas planet?
    Well, it would but ... the trouble is that a gas giant of that size would start nuclear fusion and turn into a star rather like the sun. (That is the problem with asking hypothetical but impossible questions )

    You might like this though: Sunless Earth


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    Forum Bachelors Degree GoldenRatio's Avatar
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    without nuclear fusion, gravity would take over & it would become smaller. It would basically be a big gas giant w/o nuclear fusion, an impossibility at that size but hey your question.

    If your asking about "just the surface" and not the core, seems defeating the purpose of removing the heat.

    can gas & plasma freeze? well they can turn liquid if you get it cold enough (liquid helium). I dunno if you can get a gas below absolute zero to freeze it but your welcome to try. A combination of pressure & 0kelvin might help with the freezing.

    problems with impossible hypothetical is its just that.
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    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    So, I think you mean if we could somehow prevent nuclear fusion from happening.

    I think the Sun would have a lot of residual heat. The surface would cool, become denser and sink into the hotter, inner layers and warm up a bit, so I think we'd see a lot of physical/thermal turmoil near the surface, as the Sun eventually shrank. Because the Sun would have been the only significant source of heat in the solar system, it would eventually lose so much heat that it would solidify.
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  6. #5  
    not ADM!N grmpysmrf's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Strange;514330]
    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post

    You might like this though: Sunless Earth
    I've seen that before.
    I was just wondering about the surface of the sun because I was wondering about all of that plasma. would it turn into a gas, a liquid, or solid if it suddenly cooled.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    (That is the problem with asking hypothetical but impossible questions )
    I thought, According to string theory and the multi-verse theory that there is no such thing as impossible. All theories and possibilities exist some where
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    not ADM!N grmpysmrf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    So, I think you mean if we could somehow prevent nuclear fusion from happening.

    I think the Sun would have a lot of residual heat. The surface would cool, become denser and sink into the hotter, inner layers and warm up a bit, so I think we'd see a lot of physical/thermal turmoil near the surface, as the Sun eventually shrank. Because the Sun would have been the only significant source of heat in the solar system, it would eventually lose so much heat that it would solidify.
    I think the three of you can't stupify yourselves to my feeble level of understanding. I just wanted to know what would happen to all of the plasma on the surface of the sun if it suddenly cooled. would it become a rock like surface, A liquid helium ocean, or a big ball of gas
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    I think the three of you can't stupify yourselves to my feeble level of understanding. I just wanted to know what would happen to all of the plasma on the surface of the sun if it suddenly cooled. would it become a rock like surface, A liquid helium ocean, or a big ball of gas
    As the plasma cooled, at some point it would turn into a gas.

    As the pressure increased, because there is no longer radiation pressure holding it up, some of the gas at the center would eventually liquefy and solidify. As you say, it would turn into a gas giant, like a very large Jupiter.

    (I think others have already said that, though.)
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  9. #8  
    not ADM!N grmpysmrf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    I think the three of you can't stupify yourselves to my feeble level of understanding. I just wanted to know what would happen to all of the plasma on the surface of the sun if it suddenly cooled. would it become a rock like surface, A liquid helium ocean, or a big ball of gas
    As the plasma cooled, at some point it would turn into a gas.

    As the pressure increased, because there is no longer radiation pressure holding it up, some of the gas at the center would eventually liquefy and solidify. As you say, it would turn into a gas giant, like a very large Jupiter.

    (I think others have already said that, though.)
    Yeah, at least you're pretty nice about it, though. Thanks
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