# The Sun's Rotation: A Deeper Look

• Chronos
In summary, the interior layers of a sun rotate at different rates, with the 'core' rotating faster than the outer layers. This would result in different observable consequences, depending on the star.
Chronos
Gold Member
A curious thought. We know the sun rotates [spins]. Does it rotate like a solid body, or do the interior layers spin at different rates? If so, does the 'core' of a sun rotate faster or slower than the outer layers? Is it as difficult to calculate this as I suspect it might be? What would be the observational consequences?

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Chronos said:
A curious thought. We know the sun rotates [spins]. Does it rotate like a solid body, or do the interior layers spin at different rates? If so, does the 'core' of a sun rotate faster or slower than the outer layers? Is it as difficult to calculate this as I suspect it might be? What would be the observational consequences?

Inside the Sun there's a surface called tachocline that is at a radius of approximately 0'7 solar radius. Outside of this radius, the sun rotates differentially, more quickly at the equator than at the poles. Below the tachocline, the rotation of the sun is practically that of a rigid body

And how do we know this? Helioseismology!

Thanks meteor and Nereid! This question was inspired by a far more sinister question [which is still a WIP] regarding a fairly unrelated matter and was hoping for a little help [I have lazy moments]. As it turns out [according to what I found so far], if you treat the whole thing as a rigid body, you should be at least within an OOM of the right result.

when you say "do layers rotate at different rates" are you talking about spherical shells, the different types of burning OR also convection?

I am specifically interested in the evolution of core rotation. Reasons to follow.

Insightful

neurocomp2003 said:
when you say "do layers rotate at different rates" are you talking about spherical shells, the different types of burning OR also convection?
My main interest is in the core spin of stars about to go supernova. Your comment is very insightful. I am wondering if stellar cores 'spin up' just before they detonate. I'm trying to figure out pulsar spins and looking for a mechanism that does not require recoil. Recoil does not seem to work because it appears to be mostly lateral, not tangential. Proper motion, especially in binary pairs, just do not seem to explain it. So I'm trying to come up with a reason.

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## 1. How long does it take for the sun to complete one rotation?

The sun's rotation period, or the time it takes for the sun to rotate once on its axis, varies depending on the latitude. At the equator, the sun's rotation period is approximately 25 Earth days, while at the poles, it can take up to 35 Earth days for one rotation.

## 2. What causes the sun's rotation?

The sun's rotation is primarily caused by its magnetic field. As the sun is mostly made up of plasma, which is a highly electrically conductive gas, it creates a strong magnetic field. This magnetic field interacts with the plasma, causing it to rotate.

## 3. Is the sun's rotation constant?

No, the sun's rotation is not constant. The rotation period varies with latitude, as well as over time. This is due to the complex nature of the sun's magnetic field, which can change and affect the rotation speed.

## 4. How does the sun's rotation impact Earth?

The sun's rotation does not directly impact Earth. However, the sun's magnetic field and rotation can cause solar flares, which can release intense bursts of radiation that can affect our technology and communication systems on Earth.

## 5. Can we see the sun's rotation from Earth?

No, we cannot see the sun's rotation from Earth. The sun's rotation is not visible to the naked eye, and it is only observable through specialized solar telescopes and satellites.

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