The Sun: Ordinary Star with Extraordinary Powers
An Ordinary Star.
With Extraordinary powers.
It’s a known fact that the Sun is but one of the 100 billion stars in our galaxy, The Milky Way. That is what makes it ordinary, just like all the other Stars out there.
What makes it truly extraordinary, though, is the several positive influences it wields on our planet. Driving weather and ocean currents, and making plant life possible through photosynthesis, are just a few examples.
In this article you will find stellar information pertaining to the many varied uses of the Sun.
But first, a closer look at this giant Star!
The Sun: A Closer Look
If you have ever wondered which type of resource Sunlight is, think no further. It is a Natural Resource that releases both Light and Heat Energy, and assists in the sustenance of all Life on earth.
Moreover, the Sun is a Renewable Energy Resource. The energy obtained from it is called Solar Energy.
How is this Solar Energy used? We use it mainly for heating purposes, and for the generation of electricity. All living organisms, including plants, animals and insects, need sunlight to survive. Further, the Sun also controls the weather and the different atmospheric processes in our environment.
The best thing about Solar Energy is that it is free. There is more than enough for everyone, and we will never run out of it.
Oh, and the Sun will keep making energy for a long, long time!
The Many Uses of The Sun
Now that we have seen which type of resource Sunlight is, here’s a look at some of the more pertinent benefits it offers us.
It is Essential for all Life on Earth
Even at a distance of 150 million kilometres, the gravitational pull of the Sun holds the Earth in orbit. It radiates light and solar energy that makes it possible for life to exist on this planet.
All plants need sunlight to grow. Animals (this includes human beings) need plants for the food and the oxygen they produce. In the absence of heat from the Sun, the Earth would freeze.
Formation of Clouds, Rain and Winds
The Sun evaporates the water present in seas and lakes. Through this process, Water Vapour is formed. When this water vapour rises in the sky, it cools and condenses, forming clouds.
The Sun’s varying heat in different parts of the world, leads to the differences in temperature in some areas. This is how winds are formed. It is with the effect of these very winds, that clouds move. When the volume of water in the clouds increases, the air cannot carry them. That leads to rainfall.
All the necessary light and energy that plants need is provided by sunlight. What they do is absorb the sun’s radiation and convert it into energy, through a process called Photosynthesis.
These plants on land, and even algae in aquatic regions, form the very foundation of The Food Web. It is their energy and nutrition that are passed onto every other living organism.
Essential to Agriculture
Is the Sun a Natural Resource? The several positive benefits it provides the arena of Agriculture with, certainly indicate that it is. Whether it is cultivating land or raising livestock, Solar Energy plays a huge role in aiding Agricultural processes.
There are solar techniques like Crop Rotation, that have increased harvests over the years. The technique of drying food using Sun and Wind, has prevented crops from spoiling.
Bonus: The resultant surplus of food has allowed for denser populations and structured societies.
The Generation of Electricity
Ever seen those towering windmills, while taking a drive in the countryside? They harness the power of the Sun to generate electricity.
It is the Wind that is produced by the Sun that is used to rotate the windmills. These are used to operate the Generators (Dynamos) to produce electricity. Solar Cells are used to change the Solar Energy into Electrical Energy.
The Earth is home to several natural fuels like Coal, Oil and Natural Gas. These originate from dead plants and animals that were buried in the soil.
Did you know that the energy in these fuels came from the Sun? We utilise this energy well, by using these fuels for things like cooking our food and running our vehicles.
The Greenhouse Effect
One of the earliest greenhouses dates back to 30 C.E. Mind you, this was a time when glass had not yet been invented. It was constructed for the Roman Emperor Tiberius, who wanted to be able to eat cucumbers all year long.
Through the process of converting sunlight into heat, greenhouses make it possible to grow plants out of season and in unfavourable climates. Yet another reason to answer with a resounding ‘Yes’, to the question ‘Is Sunlight a Natural Resource?’
Important for Mental Health
Sometimes, all you need is a little bit of Sunshine, to lift you up!
Not only does sunlight brighten the environment, it also lights up the environs of our minds. Sunlight is powerfully uplifting, and can have a dramatically positive influence on one’s mood, in the shortest possible time. Further, it has been shown to ease depression in people. All the more reason, to get that fix of good old Sunshine!
It is estimated that there are half a million Solar Cookers installed in India alone.
All over the world, solar cookers are being used in increasing numbers. India can take pride in the fact that it has two of the largest solar cooking systems in the world. These super cookers can prepare food for 25,000 people daily.
At EuroKids, we believe that children should be taught early on the importance of the Sun. It is important for you to engage with them in discussions pertaining to things like how the Sun is responsible for all life on Earth. And that’s not enough. Make sure they go outside each day, to get their daily dose of Sunshine – and Vitamin D!