Earth receives solar radiation from the sun that makes life possible on the Earth. Without this precious energy, there would be no life possible on the Earth. But what is the cause of this solar radiation and why is it so awesome?
Cause Of Solar Radiation
The solar radiation is caused by a continuous nuclear reaction that occurs in the core of the Sun. In the core of the Sun, hydrogen atoms combine to form helium and this fusion reaction releases a humongous amount of energy. Half of this radiation falls in the visible spectrum while almost the other entire half in the infrared spectrum with just a small portion in the ultraviolet spectrum. This radiation is emitted from the core of the Sun, which then radiates throughout the solar system.
Factors Affecting The Amount Of Solar Energy Received
There are various factors that affect the amount of sunlight that is received by various parts of Earth.
The geographic location of a place plays a major role in deciding how much sunlight is received by that place. As we move close to the equator, the angle of sunrays becomes close to vertical with respect to the ground, which results in more sunlight received. Similarly, as we move away from the equator, the angle of sunrays becomes almost parallel to the ground. Therefore, sun rays have to travel a greater distance to reach the surface of the earth. Thus, these areas receive low sun rays.
Time Of The Day
Of course, we can’t expect sunlight to shower upon us during the night. Therefore, one-half of the Earth always receives some sunlight.
Season also plays an important role in determining how much sunlight is received by a place. During summers, the sunlight received by a place is greater than that during winters.
Apart from these, other factors like Earth’s rotation, the local landscape, local weather, and the inclination of 23.5 degrees of Earth’s rotational axis are some of the other factors that also affect the amount of sunlight that is received by a place on the surface of the Earth.
Diffusion Of Solar Radiation
We do not receive direct sunlight on the surface of the Earth. The sunrays have to travel a long distance to reach the surface of the Earth. They don’t encounter much interference in the space (because of well…space) but as soon as the sunrays enter the Earth’s atmosphere, they encounter a host of interference. For instance, air molecules, water vapor, dust, clouds, and air pollutants. All these things diffuse the sunrays and what reaches the surface of the Earth are the diffused sun rays.
Advantages Of Solar Radiation
Solar Radiation has many advantages. In fact, life won’t be possible without it. Here are some of its advantages.
Without sunrays, there would be no photosynthesis and without photosynthesis, there would be no plants on the Earth. Lastly, without plants, there would be no life on Earth.
Sunrays have a bunch of really great medical benefits. Firstly, they are a natural source of Vitamin D. Secondly, they help maintain the circadian rhythm of the body. Last but not least, they give you that awesome glowing tan.
Solar Electricity Generation
Sunlight helps in electricity generation. Moreover, it also helps cook food and heat water using solar cookers and solar heaters respectively.
Sunrays are also responsible for uneven heating of the Earth’s surface, which causes the wind to blow. Without the sun, there would be no wind. Thus, no wind energy.
But again, as with anything else, there are not just positive sides to solar radiation. Overexposure to the sun causes the skin to look dull and age quickly. It can also lead to sunburns. Moreover, UV rays from the sun can cause various serious medical issues like skin cancer, cataract, etc.
In conclusion, solar radiation is an integral aspect of life on Earth and life wouldn’t be possible without it. Although it has everything going for it, overexposure to the sun can cause some serious health ailments. So just avoid overexposure and enjoy this amazing thing known as life.