Have you ever imagined why life exists on the Earth?
Do you know why we feel more energetic on a sunny day than a rainy day or cloudy day?
Do you know why the Hindus worship the Sun?
In scientific and geographic terms Sun is none other than a “star” that is composed of gases. In general, the Sun is defined as a burning ball of gases.
The existence of life on the earth is mainly dependent of two things – water and Earth’s atmosphere.
Now the question arises, what makes the Earth’s atmosphere so special?
Answer is, “The Sun”. The Earth’s atmosphere exists like this only due to the solar energy. The energy that the Earth receives from the Sun is called solar energy. Since we receive this energy in the form of radiation, it is also known as solar radiation. Call it sunlight, solar energy or solar radiation – all are the same.
Its not that we receive the whole energy that is emitted by the Sun. Due to the distance between the Sun and the Earth, only one-tenth of the radiation reaches the Earth and this one-tenth of the solar energy is enough for the existence of life on the Earth.
Can you list the processes that take place on the Earth only due to the Solar radiation?
Let me help you – the most important process of food making by plants (photosynthesis) is possible only due to sunlight. This in turn, is responsible for the growth of plants, food chain, presence of oxygen in the atmosphere and what not.
Another process is evaporation of water which in turn enters the water cycle also takes place due to solar radiation.
Changes in the amount of solar radiation that the Earth receives are responsible for the different weather types and climates in different parts of the Earth.
Why different parts of the Earth receive different amount of solar energy?
This is because of 3 reasons:
- The Earth’s inclination
- Different Sun’s activities
- The processes occurring in the Earth’s system
Winds and ocean currents are also formed due to the solar radiation that the earth receives.
In short, heating and cooling of air, water and land, all happens due to the solar radiation.
Solar energy is enormous and renewable. It can be stored, reused and converted into different other forms of energy.