Glossary term: Granulation

Description: In the outer regions of the Sun, currents of hot gas rise up, expand and cool, and then sink back down. This convection process happens within individual cells each about 1500 kilometers across. The hot, freshly risen material at the center of each cell shines brighter than the colder, darker edges where the material sinks back down. This leads to a pattern of bright dots with dark boundaries known as granules. These are temporary phenomena with each granule lasting only a few minutes before the seething mass of convective currents in the Sun disrupts it.

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