Energy from the sun that reaches the earth

In summary, the sun consumes about 600 million tons of matter per second, which is equivalent to the equation E=mc^2. The energy reaching the surface of the earth from the sun is affected by the distance and speed of light, following an inverse square law. The fraction of the solid angle surrounding the sun that is subtended by the earth also plays a role in the amount of energy received.
  • #1
Backup
4
0
The sun consumes about 600 million tons of matter per second, How much energy is that? Of this energy how much reaches the surface of the earth


E=mc^2



I solved the first part, but how do I start the second?
 
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  • #2
Have you been given a value of the distance from the Sun to the Earth, and the diameter of the Earth? They are useful things to know in this context.
 
  • #3
Yeah I have the distance of and the radius. I know the speed of light. Problem I have is how does energy decrease over a distance with a speed
 
  • #4
Backup said:
Problem I have is how does energy decrease over a distance with a speed

It's an inverse square law because, assuming the sun radiates equally in all directions, then the same amount of power is being spread out over a sphere of successively larger and larger surface area as the distance from the sun increases. This means that the power received (per unit area) at any location decreases with distance in inverse proportion to the area of that sphere.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse-square_law
 
  • #5
What fraction of the solid angle surrounding the sun is subtended by the earth?
 

Related to Energy from the sun that reaches the earth

What is solar energy?

Solar energy is the energy that is produced by the sun and reaches the earth. It is a renewable and sustainable source of energy that can be harnessed and converted into electricity or used directly for heating and lighting purposes.

How does solar energy reach the earth?

Solar energy reaches the earth through electromagnetic radiation, also known as sunlight. This radiation travels through the vacuum of space at the speed of light and is absorbed by the earth's atmosphere and surface.

How is solar energy converted into electricity?

Solar energy can be converted into electricity through the use of solar panels, also known as photovoltaic cells. These panels are made up of semiconductor materials that convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity, which can then be converted into alternating current (AC) electricity for use in homes and businesses.

What are the benefits of using solar energy?

There are several benefits of using solar energy, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lowering electricity bills, and decreasing reliance on fossil fuels. Solar energy is also a renewable and sustainable source of energy, meaning it will never run out and can be used for generations to come.

Are there any drawbacks to using solar energy?

While solar energy is a clean and renewable source of energy, there are some drawbacks to consider. The initial cost of installing solar panels can be expensive, and their efficiency can be affected by factors such as weather and location. However, advancements in technology are continuously making solar energy more affordable and efficient.

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