Lecture 3 Ch2

Lecture 3 Ch2 - Solar Energy to Earth and the Seasons...

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Solar Energy to Earth and the Seasons Reading: Christopherson Chapter 2
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OVERVIEW Solar Energy The Sun – photosphere, chromosphere, sunspot Electromagnetic spectrum Earth Orbit Milankovich Hypothesis The Seasons The Seasonality – altitude, declination, day length Reasons for season Annual March of the Season – 2 equinox & 2 solstice
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Solar Energy to Earth and the Seasons Incoming solar energy that arrives at the top of the atmosphere establishes the pattern of energy input that drives the Earth’s physical systems and influences our daily lives.
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Soho Satellite, Feb 12, 2001 olar and Heliospheric bservatory (SOHO)
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The Sun The surface of the Sun is called the Photosphere . A small region known as the chromosphere lies above the photosphere. Solar radiation moves at the speed of light: 299,792 kmps (186,282 mps) 9.5 trillion km or 6 trillion miles per year (a light year) the Moon is 1.28 light-seconds away – 384,400km (238,866 miles) from Earth to the Moon – 3 days journey for the Apollo astronauts.
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Solar Activity In addition to heat and light, the Sun emits clouds of electrically charged particles (the Solar Wind) – Earths magnetosphere deflects the solar winds to the poles auroras in the upper atmosphere Sunspots - caused by magnetic storms
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Sunspots Magnetism produced on the Sun by the flow of electrically charged ions and electrons. Sunspots are places where very intense magnetic lines of force break through the Sun's surface. The sunspot cycle results from the cycling of magnetic fields by the flow of material in the interior.
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Sunspots Areas on the Sun near sunspots often flare up, heating material to millions of degrees in just seconds and blasting billions of tons of material into space. Sunspots have regular activity cycle of 11 years (max 1990/2001, min 1986/1997) – weather effects seem to have a 2-3 yr lag behind sun spot The nature and causes of the sunspot cycle not well understood
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The date of the Titanic disaster coincided with a climax in the iceberg-weather- sunspot link system (Lawrence, 2000 in Weather, Royal Meteorological Society of London
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Sunspot Prediction See: http://solarscience.msfc. nasa.gov/ Predicting the behavior of a sunspot cycle is fairly reliable once the cycle is well underway (about 3 years after the minimum in sunspot number occurs). Prior to that time the predictions are less reliable but nonetheless equally as important. Planning for satellite orbits and space missions often require knowledge of solar activity levels years in advance. Look out for 2011
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Elliptical, closed oval path Perihelion: 147,255,000 km (91,500,000 ml) Aphelion:152,083,000 km (94,500,000 ml) Exhibits changes over long periods Earth – Sun distance changes by 17.7Million km. every 100,000 years
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This note was uploaded on 10/05/2009 for the course GEOG 201 taught by Professor Prince during the Spring '07 term at Maryland.

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Lecture 3 Ch2 - Solar Energy to Earth and the Seasons...

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