Chapt. 34Maxwell’s Equations, Electromagnetic Radiation and Special Relativity261034 qmult 10520 2 5 5 moderate thinking: solar constant and insolation fullmult30.∗∗The solar constantI= 1366 W/m2on average (Wikipedia: Solar radiation, 2008feb18). In fact,it’s not exactly constant, due to varying Earth-Sun distance, sunspots, and the 11-year solarcycle. But averaged over those variations, it is really very constant which is good for life onEarth. The solar constant is the power per unit area (or intensity) on a sphere surrounding theSun at the Earth’s distance from the Sun.i) What is theAVERAGEsolar power per unit area on the spherical top of the Earth’satmosphere?HINT:Remember the Earth’s a rotating sphere. Think of its cross-sectionalarea in respect to the solar light flux and its spherical atmosphere surface area. To goodapproximation the top of the Earth’s atmosphere has the same radius as the solid Earth.
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