Astronomy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for astronomers and astrophysicists. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Does the sun have a protective layer that at least diminishes its radiation. I know the earth's atmosphere protects us from harmful rays. But does the sun have a sort of shield as well that if removed would radiate more heat.

share|improve this question
Sunglasses????? – Pete Becker Jun 12 '14 at 22:23

You seriously cannot expect the sun to have a layer that would contain some of its harmful radiation. Sun consists of a plasma and is not solid. Learn more about its structure here. Magnetic field is a kind of layer you might think of apart from all gases and energy it radiates. But that is harmful and not protective for us. It is highly unlike earth which has a solid crust. Any layer around sun wouldn't actually protect us as it would have to contain a huge amount of energy and that would make it more unstable.

Earth just happens to be at the right distance from the sun that was conducive enough to harbor a suitable atmosphere with just the right combination of the right elements and compounds (especially oxygen for breathing, ozone for protection and nitrogen for maintaining atmospheric balance). This is why life has been possible here. Earth also happens to have a magnetic field strong enough to protect us from the solar wind, as described in details here. It just diverts the harmful energy away from us. Containment of huge amount of energy is the major concern here and nobody is doing that.

So life has been possible only because the way earth has been created, well of course all energy comes from the sun. But the sun just provides energy and doesn't save us from itself.

share|improve this answer
Maybe the only fact about the Sun that may somehow prevent all of it's power to run wild against us is that a photon created at the Sun's core (which is the way energy gets to the earth) takes an average of 170.000 years to reach the Sun's surface and then leave towards the Earth. They take so much because the photons are absorbed and re-emited constantly by the charged plasma particles. See this image:… (photon = fotón, years = años) – Joan.bdm Jun 12 '14 at 6:45

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.