Earth-Sun relations

Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2008 03:12 pm
What is the relation between the angle of the noon Sun and the quantity of solar radiation received per square centimeter at the outer edge of the atmosphere?
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Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 5,009 • Replies: 7
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Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2008 05:49 pm
Oh man, that science homework's a bitch, ain't it?
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2008 06:00 pm
Your teacher is sharp. The question is phrased in such a way that makes it difficult to google the answer. You have to work it out using multiple sources of information and then do some math.

Of course, you could probably piece it all together with google, but you would have to understand the problem in order to break it down and dig out the answers, and then you would have learned something in the process.

Do you like your teacher?

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Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2008 07:41 pm
Take a flashlight and hold it at right angles shining on a dark piece of paper. Notice the size of the beam and the intensity of the beam on the paper. That's noon.

Now follow a circular path that would represent early/mid/late morning, early/mid/late afternoon. Notice the size of the beam on the paper.

Report back with your observations and ideas.
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Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2008 07:49 pm
The less the off-angle, the more energy you get.
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Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 01:19 am
Off hand it would be the cos of the angle for any given area to the sun rays IE 0 degrees would be one and 90 degrees would be 0.
Steve 41oo
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 04:38 am
I think Bill is right, but you will have to figure out why.

(hint. the energy in a beam of sunlight is constant, but the energy density and hence the perceived warming, depends on the area over which the sunlight falls.And the area is related to the angle of incidence of the sunlight.)

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Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2011 12:29 pm
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