How The Heat of The Sun Reaches The Earth
The Earth is relatively distant from the Sun, yet its heat reaches us in numerous ways. The most important process is radiation, which involves energy travelling as a wave. To understand how the heat of the sun reaches the Earth, we need to consider the journey of this energy from its source to our planet.
The Journey of Energy From the Sun
- Emission: The Sun emits energy in the form of radiation.
- Absorption: Part of the Sun’s energy is absorbed in space by dust and other particles.
- Reflection: Some of the energy is reflected back into space by clouds and other objects in the atmosphere.
- Atmospheric Scattering: The energy that reaches the Earth’s atmosphere is scattered by air molecules, allowing more energy to reach the surface of the Earth.
- Absorption: Finally, the energy that reaches the Earth’s surface is absorbed by the land, water and atmosphere.
Absorption by the Earth’s Surface
Once the energy reaches the Earth’s surface, it is absorbed in several ways. The most important is through radiation, which occurs when the energy is absorbed directly by the land, water or atmosphere. The other process is conduction, which occurs when the energy is transferred from one object to another through contact.
The heat from the sun that reaches the Earth is essential for life on our planet. Without it, plants would not be able to photosynthesize, and temperatures on Earth would be too low to sustain life. Fortunately, as long as the Sun continues to shine, there will be energy to sustain us.