How the Sun’s Output Fluctuates
Dr. Jerome R. Lurtz
The Sun is a variable star. Fortunately, it is actually very stable over small time intervals [10,000 years]. The variability is on the order of 0.22%. This small change is observable over a sunspot cycle of approximately 11 years.
The reason for the Sun’s variability is due to how the Sun’s Core creates energy. The following steps describe that energy production (starting at a maximum output):
1) The outer surface of the Core is where Hydrogen [H] is burned to Helium [He].
2) At maximum output, the readily H has been burned to He.
3) The He is now interfering with the burning process so that less energy is being produced. This is called He poisoning. See literature about the Tokamak. The volume of the Sun above the core slightly decreases.
4) The He slowly migrates into the interior of the Core.
5) The Core gradually increases in density [other burned products are there, Oxygen, Carbon, etc].
6) The increase in density increases the gravitational attraction of the Core. The gravitational attraction [density, caused by both gravity and pressure] is kept in check by the energy production at the Core’s surface.
7) The increased gravitational attraction increases the density of H at the surface of the Core.
8) The H at the Core’s surface increases its burn rate creating more energy. This, in turn, causes the volume of the Sun above the Core to increase.
9) This cycle repeats at an 11 years cycle. But every 350-400 years, the Core’s surface is so poisoned that it takes 30 to 50 years to complete the He migration and the Core’s surface H replenishment.
The He in the Core is estimated at 75% and the H is estimated at 25%. Above the Core’s surface the H is estimated at 75% and the He at 25%.
The interaction of gravity, pressure, and energy production are the three main variables in determining the total energy production from the Sun.
The creation of Sun spots is a function of the maximum energy production areas on the surface of the Core. The Core does not produce energy uniformly over its surface; it has high energy production areas and low energy production areas. A high energy production area will produce intense magnetic fields and upwelling’s from the Core into the Radiative zone and into the Convective zone. Between the intense energy production areas are quiet areas with only a minimal amount of H available for burning.
The planetary motions will increase or decrease density effects in the Core, therefore, influencing the Sun’s energy output.