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Energy output of Sun?

  1. Mar 21, 2008 #1
    Obviously life on Earth must get energy from the Sun. But MOST of the Suns energy must be radiating out into space, pretty much "wasted" from our perspective.

    So, my question is, about how much energy do you figure the sun produces per second? What sort of things on Earth could be powered, and for how long, if at its disposal was all of the energy the sun could produce in just one second?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2008 #2
    I suggest putting into google the term (in quotes) "luminosity of the sun". It's something the astronomers have spent a good deal of time in measuring.
     
  4. Mar 21, 2008 #3

    Astronuc

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    Staff: Mentor

    Here's one estimate -

    3.846 × 1026 watts, or 3.846 × 1033 ergs/sec.

    http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/sunfact.html

    Compare that to the largest power plant have total energy generation of 3-5 GW.
     
  5. Mar 21, 2008 #4

    DaveC426913

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    Gold Member

    I dunno, but the Global Warming Militants would have fits of apoplexy... :biggrin:
     
  6. Mar 22, 2008 #5

    Ken G

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    Note that works out to over ten million such power plants per human on Earth. The cross section of the Earth intercepts less than a billionth of the Sun's energy, but that's still one such power plant for every few hundred humans. Accessing that energy efficiently is another matter...
     
  7. Mar 22, 2008 #6
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