Grade: Senior
Subject: Science

#3528. The Sun

Science, level: Senior
Posted Wed Nov 2 08:44:27 PST 2005 by Frank Virzi (
Solar News -- Science Friday, 5/17/96
North Middlesex Regional High School, Townsend, MA 01469
Materials Required: Computer connected to internet, RealAudio
Activity Time: about 45 minutes
Concepts Taught: The Sun - structure, processes, history

Here are a set of questions that I ask my students to answer as they are listening to the program. Feel free to copy and use with your
This radio program was aired on National Public
Radio on May 17, 1996. It is available at the
Science Friday Archives (RealAudio required) at

Solar News -- Science Friday, 5/17/96

1. When did scientists come to understand that nuclear fusion is what makes the sun shine?_____________

2. What is the name of the aurora over the South Pole?_______________________________________

3. What is the temperature of a. the surface _____________ b. the corona ______________

4. Describe how sunspots are related to the weather on Earth.

5. In the 17th Century there were very few sunspots. What happened in Europe?

6. What is the L-1 point?

7. About how far away from the Earth is SOHO?______________________________

8. Name three other elements besides helium that are formed from the fusion taking place in the sun.____________________________________________

9. What can we tell about the sun from studying x-rays?

10. The answer is 3.75. What's the question?

ANSWERS: 1. 1930's 2. Aurora Australis 3. surface -- 6,000 degrees C; corona -- 1,000,000 degrees C 4. Not widely accepted; sunspots MAY cause heating 5. mini - Ice Age 6. It's between the Earth and the Sun -- where the gravity from the Earth and the Sun cancel each other out; spacecraft at the L-1 point would take 1 year to orbit the Earth. 7. about 1,000,000 miles away 8. Carbon, nitrogen and oxygen are the three that are mentioned (other elements may be mentioned) 9. the structure of the corona 10. How much do we really understand about the Sun, on a scale of 1-10?