Measuring the solar energy that falls on Earth • Earth.com

Measuring the solar energy that falls on Earth

02-18-2018


Measuring the solar energy that falls on Earth Today’s Video of the Day comes from NASA Goddard and features a look at how much solar energy is received by Earth.

In December 2017, NASA launched a new instrument known as the Total Solar and Spectral Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1) designed to measure sunlight to determine Earth’s total energy budget. The device will measure the Sun’s energy in 1,000 different wavelengths, which includes visible, ultraviolet, and infrared.

Then the total solar flux from the Sun is divided by the surface area of a sphere that has a radius equal to the distance from the Earth to the Sun. This accounts for the “spreading” of the solar energy.

Just to be confusing the intensity of solar radiation is called irradiance and is measures in the units of power per unit area (W/m 2 or kW/m 2) however, the total amount of solar radiation energy is called irradiation and is measures in the units of energy per unit area  Measuring the solar energy that falls on Earth will also show in video the total solar flux from the Sun is divided by the surface area of a sphere that has a radius equal to the distance from the Earth to the Sun. This accounts for the “spreading” of the solar energy.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: NASA Goddard

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