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64

No, it's not. The radiation field in the interior of the Sun is very close to a blackbody spectrum. If you look in any particular direction the brightness (power per unit area) you see is $\sigma T^4$, where $\sigma$ is Stefan's constant. Even at any particular wavelength it is always the case that a blackbody of higher temperature is brighter than a ...


15

Coming from a different direction as @Rob's, Opacity and Thermal Radiation are orthogonal properties of a material. The photon flux at the interior of the sun is very high, so it is definitely not dark. However, it is opaque to virtually all light outside the sun. To provide an analogy, if you are in a sealed room with no windows, you cannot see anything ...


5

Easily ionised ones like sodium and potassium. Not much from lithium because that is rare. You don't need many free electrons. The fraction of H$^{-}$/H is very small, something like $10^{-7}$ in the solar photosphere. And indeed the number densities of sodium and potassium to hydrogen are of that order.


4

If you have a look at the top-left panel of Fig.11 in these lecture notes by Rob Rutten, you will see that the continuum opacity at optical wavelengths at the photosphere is about $10^{-6.7}$ cm$^{-1}$. The inverse of this is the optical depth. You can see stuff through about 2-3 optical depths, so your "horizon", looking horizontally in the solar ...


1

It's a bit subtle, the key thing the partial ionization does is to keep the temperature from changing much. What you really want is an increase in density, not temperature. The reason the kappa mechanism is important is that it allows heat to be added to the gas when it is compressed, and removed when the gas is expanded, that's what allows for the ...


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