Facts about Sunlight

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To find out more about the diagram above . . . . read on!

Facts about Sunlight

Look carefully at the diagram at the top of the page. Now check out the following questions (and answers)!

  1. Why is sunshine important to human beings?
  2. What are other names for sunlight?
  3. Is sunlight made of waves or particles?
  4. How fast does sunlight travel through deep space?
  5. Why is too much ultra-violet radiation dangerous?

About the Diagram

Introducing the diagram! Read back and forward between the image at the top of the page and the explanation below!

This diagram introduces sunlight, the light produced by the Sun, the star at the centre of our solar system.

It gathers together some useful facts and introduces some important terms that you can check out in the next section.

Remember that:

  • As the Sun explodes with the force of a billion one-megaton nuclear bombs every second it gives off electromagnetic radiation.
  • Sunlight is a form of electromagnetic radiation.
  • The electromagnetic radiation given off by the sun includes all wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • By the time sunlight has passed through the atmosphere and reaches the ground it contains infrared, visible, and ultraviolet wavelengths of light.
  • Viewed from the ground, sunlight contains a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Viewed from outer space, sunlight contains all of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Without sunlight, life as we know it would not be possible because it carries the energy that plants need to grow and the heat that keeps the world warm.

Follow the blue links for definitions . . . . or check the summaries of key terms below!

Some Key Terms

Move to the next level! Check out the following terms.

Electromagnetic radiation

Electromagnetic radiation is a type of energy more commonly simply called light. Detached from its source, it is transported by ...
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Electromagnetic spectrum

The electromagnetic spectrum includes electromagnetic waves with all possible wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, ranging from low energy radio waves through ...
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Energy

Energy is a property of matter. Everything contains energy including all forms of matter and so all objects. Energy is ...
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Light

Light is electromagnetic radiation (radiant energy), which, detached from its source, is transported by electromagnetic waves (or their quanta, photons) ...
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Solar radiation

Solar radiation is the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun. Electromagnetic radiation is a type of energy that is commonly known as light ...
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Spectral colour

A spectral colour is a colour evoked in normal human vision by a single wavelength of visible light, or by ...
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Sun

The Sun is the star at the centre of our solar system. The energy emitted by the Sun is called ...
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