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Encyclopedia > Sunlight
Prism splitting light
Prism splitting light
High Resolution Solar Spectrum
High Resolution Solar Spectrum

Sunlight in the broad sense is the total spectrum of the electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun. On Earth, sunlight is filtered through the atmosphere, and the solar radiation is obvious as daylight when the Sun is above the horizon. This is usually during the hours known as day. Near the poles in summer, sunlight also occurs during the hours known as night and in the winter at the poles sunlight may not occur at any time. When the direct radiation is not blocked by clouds, it is experienced as sunshine, a combination of bright light and heat. Radiant heat directly produced by the radiation of the sun is different from the increase in atmospheric temperature due to the radiative heating of the atmosphere by the sun's radiation. sunlight is cool. it lights the earth. ha! prism splitting light Source: NASA File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... prism splitting light Source: NASA File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (8192x5464, 2848 KB)A high resolution version of the spectrum of the Sun, this image was created from a digital atlas observed with the Fourier Transform Spectrometer at the McMath-Pierce Solar Facility at Kitt Peak National Observatory, near Tucson, Arizona... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (8192x5464, 2848 KB)A high resolution version of the spectrum of the Sun, this image was created from a digital atlas observed with the Fourier Transform Spectrometer at the McMath-Pierce Solar Facility at Kitt Peak National Observatory, near Tucson, Arizona... Extremely high resolution spectrum of the Sun showing thousands of elemental absorption lines (fraunhofer lines) Spectroscopy is the study of matter and its properties by investigating light, sound, or particles that are emitted, absorbed or scattered by the matter under investigation. ... Electromagnetic radiation can be imagined as a self-propagating transverse oscillating wave of electric and magnetic fields. ... The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. ... Adjectives: Terrestrial, Terran, Telluric, Tellurian, Earthly Atmosphere Surface pressure: 101. ... Coloured and Neutral Density filters An optical filter is a device which selectively transmits light having certain properties (often, a particular range of wavelengths, that is, range of colours of light, or polarizations), while blocking the remainder. ... Layers of Atmosphere (NOAA) Air redirects here. ... Solar irradiance spectrum at top of atmosphere. ... Look up daylight in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Horizon. ... This article is in the process of being merged into Heat, and may be outdated. ...



The World Meteorological Organization defines sunshine as direct irradiance from the Sun measured on the ground of at least 120 W·m−2. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 187 Member States and Territories. ... The watt (symbol: W) is the SI derived unit of power, equal to one joule per second. ... The metre, or meter (U.S.), is a measure of length. ...


Direct sunlight gives about 93 lumens of illumination per watt of electromagnetic power, including infrared, visible, and ultra-violet. This compares with the best fluorescent lights. The lumen (symbol: lm) is the SI unit of luminous flux. ... The watt (symbol: W) is the SI derived unit of power, equal to one joule per second. ... Image of two girls in mid-infrared (thermal) light (false color) Infrared (IR) radiation is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength longer than that of visible light, but shorter than that of radio waves. ... The optical spectrum (light or visible spectrum) is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye. ... Note: Ultraviolet is also the name of a 1998 UK television miniseries about vampires. ... Fluorescence induced by exposure to ultraviolet light in vials containing various sized cadmium selenide (CdSe) quantum dots. ...


The sun's nuclear energy source was discovered by Hans Bethe. Hans Albrecht Bethe (pronounced bay-tuh; July 2, 1906 – March 6, 2005), was a German-American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1967 for his work on the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. ...


Sunlight is a key factor in the process of photosynthesis The leaf is the primary site of photosynthesis in plants. ...

Contents

Life on Earth

Spectrum of blue sky clearly showing solar Fraunhofer lines and atmospheric water absorption band.
Spectrum of blue sky clearly showing solar Fraunhofer lines and atmospheric water absorption band.

The existence of nearly all life on earth is fueled by light from the sun. Most autotrophs, such as plants, use the energy of sunlight to turn air into simple sugars—a process known as photosynthesis. These sugars are then used as building blocks and in other synthetic pathways which allow the organism to grow. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2501x1596, 70 KB) Spectrum of blue sky somewhat near the horizon pointing east at around 3 or 4 pm on a clear day. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2501x1596, 70 KB) Spectrum of blue sky somewhat near the horizon pointing east at around 3 or 4 pm on a clear day. ... Solar Fraunhofer lines In physics and optics, the Fraunhofer lines are a set of spectral lines named for the German physicist Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787--1826). ... This article is about the tv programme Life on Earth. ... Green (from chlorophyll) fronds of a maidenhair fern: a photoautotroph Flowchart to determine if a species is autotroph, heterotroph, or a subtype An autotroph (from the Greek autos = self and trophe = nutrition) is an organism that produces organic compounds from carbon dioxide as a carbon source, using either light or... The leaf is the primary site of photosynthesis in plants. ...


Heterotrophs, such as animals, use light from the sun indirectly by consuming the products of autotrophs, either directly or by consuming other heterotrophs. The sugars and other molecular components produced by the autotrophs are then broken down, releasing stored solar energy, and giving the heterotroph the energy required for survival. This process is known as respiration. Flowchart to determine if a species is autotroph, heterotroph, or a subtype A heterotroph (Greek heterone = (an)other and trophe = nutrition) is an organism that requires organic substrates to get its carbon for growth and development. ... Cellular Respiration is a process that describes the metabolic reactions and processes that take place in a cell to obtain chemical energy from fuel molecules. ...


In prehistory, humans began to further extend this process by putting plant and animal materials to other uses. They used animal skins for warmth, for example, or wooden weapons to hunt. These skills allowed humans to harvest more of the sunlight than was possible through glycolysis alone, and human population began to grow. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Prehistoric man. ...


During the Neolithic Revolution, the domestication of plants and animals further increased human access to solar energy. Fields devoted to crops were enriched by inedible plant matter, providing sugars and nutrients for future harvests. Animals which had previously only provided humans with meat and tools once they were killed were now used for labour throughout their lives, fueled by grasses inedible to humans. It has been suggested that First agricultural revolution be merged into this article or section. ... Nutrients and the body A nutrient is any element or compound necessary for or contributing to an organisms metabolism, growth, or other functioning. ... Genera See: List of Poaceae genera The true grasses are monocot (class Liliopsida) plants of the family Poaceae (formerly Graminae). ...


The more recent discoveries of coal, petroleum and natural gas are modern extensions of this trend. These fossil fuels are the remnants of ancient plant and animal matter, formed using energy from sunlight and then trapped within the earth for millions of years. Because the stored energy in these fossil fuels has accumulated over many millions of years, they have allowed modern humans to massively increase the production and consumption of primary energy. As the amount of fossil fuel is large but finite, this cannot continue indefinitely, and various theories exist as to what will follow this stage of human civilization (e.g. alternative fuels, Malthusian catastrophe, new urbanism, peak oil). Coal Coal (IPA: ) is a fossil fuel extracted from the ground by coal mining, either underground mining or open-pit mining (surface mining). ... Pumpjack pumping an oil well near Sarnia, Ontario Ignacy Łukasiewicz - inventor of the refining of kerosene from crude oil. ... Natural gas is a gaseous fossil fuel consisting primarily of methane but including significant quantities of ethane, butane, propane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, helium and hydrogen sulfide. ... Coal rail cars in Ashtabula, Ohio Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons, primarily coal, fuel oil or natural gas, formed from the remains of dead plants and animals. ... Fossil fuels are hydrocarbon-containing natural resources such as coal, petroleum and natural gas. ... Primary energy is energy contained in raw fuels and any other forms of energy received by a system as input to the system. ... Alternative fuel refers to methods of powering an engine that do not involve petroleum (oil). ... A Malthusian catastrophe, sometimes known as a Malthusian check, Malthusian crisis, Malthusian dilemma, Malthusian disaster, Malthusian trap, or Malthusian limit is a return to subsistence-level conditions as a result of agricultural (or, in later formulations, economic) production being eventually outstripped by growth in population. ... New urbanism is an urban design movement whose popularity increased from the beginning of the 1980s onwards. ... The Hubbert peak theory, also known as peak oil, is an influential theory concerning the long-term rate of conventional oil production and depletion. ...


Cultural aspects

Many people find direct sunlight to be too bright for comfort, especially when reading from white paper upon which the sun is directly shining. Indeed, looking directly at the sun can cause permanent vision damage. To compensate for the brightness of sunlight, many people wear sunglasses. Cars, many helmets and caps are equipped with visors to block the sun from direct vision when the sun is at a low angle. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Karl Benzs Velo (vélo means bicycle in French) model (1894) - entered into the first automobile race 2005 MINI CooperS. An automobile (also motor car or simply car) is a wheeled passenger vehicle that carries its own motor. ... For other meanings, see Helmet (disambiguation). ... A cap is a form of headgear. ... A VISOR as worn by Geordi La Forge. ...


In colder countries many people prefer sunnier days and often avoid the shade. In hotter countries the converse is true; during the midday hours many people prefer to stay inside to remain cool. If they do go outside, they seek shade which may be provided by trees, parasols, and so on. Shade is the blocking of sunlight (in particular direct sunshine) by any object, and also the shadow created by that object. ... Umbrella An umbrella is a device used for temporary shade or shelter from precipitation. ...


Sunshine is often blocked from entering buildings through the use of window blinds, awnings, shutters or curtains. Venetian blind detail, showing how slats are connected. ... A colorful awning accentuates these two bright green doors An awning is a secondary covering attached to the exterior wall of a building. ... A window shutter panel is a solid window covering usually consisting of side stiles, top and bottom rails, and louvers. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ...


Sunbathing

Sunbathing is popular for the cosmetic benefits of a sun tan, although there are also risks of cellular damage to the skin. Sunbathing is a popular leisure activity in which a person sits or lies in direct sunshine. People often sunbathe in comfortable places where there is ample sunlight. Some common places for sunbathing include the beach, open air swimming pools, the park, the garden, and pavement (sidewalk) cafés. Sunbathers typically wear limited amounts of clothing (such as swimsuits), or go topfree or simply go nude. A model of Scentual Sun demonstrates the differences between clear skin and a sun tan. ... An example of leisure, someone falling asleep whilst bathing in the sun. ... The Beach in Calella, Spain. ... 50 meter indoor swimming pool A swimming pool, swimming bath, or wading pool is an artificially enclosed body of water intended for recreational or competitive swimming, diving, or for other bathing activities that involve swimming, e. ... An Australian park A park is any of a number of geographic features. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Coffeehouse in Damascus A coffeehouse, coffee shop, or café shares some of the characteristics of a bar, and some of the characteristics of a restaurant. ... A swimsuit (also swimmers), bathing suit (also bathers), aqua jammies or swimming costume (sometimes shortened to cozzie) is an item of clothing designed to be worn for swimming. ... Categories: Stub | Nudity | Social movements ... The word nude may refer to: The state of nudity. ...


An alternative some use to sunbathing is to use a sunbed that generates ultraviolet light and can be used indoors regardless of outdoor weather conditions and amount of sun light. A sunbed, with lights off. ... UV redirects here. ...


For many people with pale or brownish skin, an additional or primary purpose for sunbathing is to darken one's skin color (get a sun tan) as this is considered in some cultures to be beautiful, associated with outdoor activity, vacations or holidays, and health. Indeed, the body produces vitamin D from sunlight (specifically from the UVB band of ultraviolet light), and excessive seclusion from the sun can lead to deficiency. An additional reason that some people prefer nude sunbathing is that an "all-over" or "even" tan can be obtained. Historical data for native populations collected by R. Biasutti prior to 1940. ... A model of Scentual Sun demonstrates the differences between clear skin and a sun tan. ... Vacation is a term used in English speaking North America to describe time away from work or school, a trip abroad, or simply a pleasure trip away from home. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that contributes to the maintenance of normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the bloodstream. ... UV redirects here. ... The word nude may refer to: The state of nudity. ...


Skin tanning is achieved by an increase in the dark pigment inside skin cells called melanocytes and it is actually an automatic response mechanism of the body to sufficient exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or from artificial sunlamps. Thus, the tan gradually disappears with time, when one is no longer exposed to these sources. The skin of darker-skinned people may represent an evolutionary advantage developed time ago in races living in tropical areas, such as Africa. Despite the risks, many female teens said in a survey with Seventeen that they look better with a tan and feel healthier, more sophisticated Sun tanning describes a darkening of the skin (especially of fair-skinned individuals) in a natural physiological response stimulated by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunshine... For animal and plant pigments, see Pigment, biology. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... UV redirects here. ... The tropics are the geographic region of the Earth centered on the equator and limited in latitude by the two tropics: the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere. ...


Effects on health

While the production of vitamin D is good, it is important to note that excessive sunlight exposure has been linked to all types of skin cancer caused by the ultraviolet part of radiation in sunlight and from sunlamps. Sunburns are mild to severe inflammation effects to the skin and can be avoided by using a proper sunscreen cream or lotion or by gradually building up melanocytes over days and weeks of increasing exposure. Another detrimental effect of UV exposure is accelerated skin aging (also called skin photodamage), which produces a rather ugly and difficult to treat cosmetic effect. The decrease in the atmosphere's ozone layer in the last decades is increasing the incidence of such health hazards and extra precautions should be taken by people who are exposed daily to strong sunlight. Skin cancer is a malignant growth on the skin, which can have many causes, including repeated severe sunburn or long-term exposure to the sun. ... UV redirects here. ... Inflammation is the first response of the immune system to infection or irritation and may be referred to as the innate cascade. ... Sunscreen (also known as sunblock, suntan lotion) is a lotion, spray or other topical product that helps protect the skin from the suns ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and which reduces sunburn and other skin damage, ultimately leading to a lower risk of skin cancer. ... The Parthenons facade showing an interpretation of golden rectangles in its proportions. ... The ozone layer, or ozonosphere layer (very rarely used term), is the part of the Earths atmosphere which contains relatively high concentrations of ozone (O3). ...


A lack of sunlight, on the other hand, is considered one of the primary causes of seasonal affective disorder, a serious form of the "winter blues". SAD occurrence is noticed more prevalently the further away from the tropics the sample is taken, and most of the treatments (other than prescription drugs) involve replicating sunlight. This replication is done using lamps tuned to specific wavelengths of light or full-spectrum bulbs. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, also known as winter depression is an affective, or mood, disorder. ...


There are two further beneficial effects of sunlight. Firstly it upregulates the manufacture of vitamin D in humans when sunlight is incident upon skin surfaces. Secondly, the use of sunlight in lieu of artificial light to illuminate building interiors avoids certain adverse health effects of over-illumination by electric lights as well as promoting energy conservation. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that contributes to the maintenance of normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the bloodstream. ... This cosmetics store has lighting levels over twice recommended levels and sufficient to trigger headaches and other health effects Over-illumination is the presence of lighting intensity (illuminance) beyond that required for a specified activity. ... For the physical concepts, see conservation of energy and energy efficiency. ...


See also

The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. ... Prism splitting light Light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength that is visible to the eye (visible light) or, in a technical or scientific context, electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength[1]. The elementary particle that defines light is the photon. ... Layers of Atmosphere (NOAA) Air redirects here. ... Visible light is commonly described by its color temperature. ... Crepuscular rays at sunset Crepuscular rays at Telstra Tower, Canberra Crepuscular rays, in atmospheric optics, also known as sun rays, are rays of sunlight that appear to radiate from a single point in the sky. ... Electromagnetic radiation can be classified into ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation, based on whether it is capable of ionizing atoms and breaking chemical bonds. ... Solar Fraunhofer lines In physics and optics, the Fraunhofer lines are a set of spectral lines named for the German physicist Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787--1826). ... Figure 1 This is a diagram of the seasons. ... A Standard Household Light bulb This page is a list of sources of light. ... Moonlight has several meanings: Moonlight is the light that is perceived as coming from the moon. ... This cosmetics store has lighting levels over twice recommended levels and sufficient to trigger headaches and other health effects Over-illumination is the presence of lighting intensity (illuminance) beyond that required for a specified activity. ... Image of the largest antarctic ozone hole ever recorded in September 2000. ... Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, also known as winter depression is an affective, or mood, disorder. ... Solar irradiance spectrum at top of atmosphere. ... Sunscreen (also known as sunblock, suntan lotion) is a lotion, spray or other topical product that helps protect the skin from the suns ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and which reduces sunburn and other skin damage, ultimately leading to a lower risk of skin cancer. ... A season is one of the major divisions of the year, generally based on yearly periodic changes in weather. ... A sunbeam is: a ray of sunlight. ... Historical data for native populations collected by R. Biasutti prior to 1940. ...

References

  1. Hartmann, Thom (1998). The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight. London: Hodder and Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-82243-0.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Sunlight Foundation (3222 words)
The Sunlight Foundation was founded in 2006 with the goal of using technology to enable citizens to learn more about what their elected representatives are doing, to help reduce corruption, ensure greater transparency and...
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A confusing array of new and recent studies reveals that scientists know very little about how much sunlight is absorbed by Earth versus how much the planet reflects, how all this alters temperatures, and why any of it changes from one decade to the next.
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Sunlight that reflects of Earth in turn reflects off the Moon and can be measured from here.
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