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photosphere, luminous, apparently opaque layer of gases that forms the visible surface of the sun or any other star. The photosphere lies between the dense interior gases and the more attenuated gases of the chromosphere. The incandescent gases of the photosphere, estimated to be at temperatures near 6,000K, are so much brighter than the other layers of the sun that they seem to form a surface. These gases are in a constant state of agitation due to convection currents that reach down to 150,000 mi (241,000 km) below the photosphere. Differences in the density of the gases result in a grainy appearance of the photosphere; the small bright patches, or granules, are several hundred miles in diameter and are constantly shifting. Another feature of the photosphere, observed only near the sun's edge, is the appearance near sunspots of bright, veinlike regions known as faculae.
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A convective cell in the solar photosphere, about 600 miles (1000 kilometers) in diameter.
A somewhat rounded rock fragment ranging in diameter from 2 to 4 millimeters; larger than a coarse sand grain and smaller than a pebble.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Geology a single rock fragment in gravel, smaller than a pebble but larger than a sand grain
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


The degree of detail. More granularity implies more detail and selectivity in analyzing or customizing a system. There are smaller increments (granules) from which to select.
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