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Atmospheric Absorption of Solar Radiation

SOLAR RADIATION IS radiant energy emitted by the Sun. The process begins at the Sun's core, where hydrogen atoms are fused to helium atoms via nuclear fusion. For each second of nuclear fusion, the Sun converts 700 million tons of hydrogen into 695 million tons of helium, with 5 million tons of electromagnetic energy radiating out into space.

Some of this energy travels the approximately 92.89 million mi. (149.5 million km.) across the solar system to Earth. The importance of the Sun to Earth is hard to overstate: quite simply, it makes life here possible. It provides us with heat and light, controlling everything from daily weather patterns to the placement of climate zones, while our trips around it provide us with our annual seasons.

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