The constant stream of light from the sun is the only source of energy that comes from outside the Earth, and its action creates almost all other energy forms available on the planet.
Even from 93 million miles away and through the Earth's atmosphere, the solar radiation that hits just one square meter of the Earth has enough power in it to light three 100-watt light bulbs, if it were possible to convert all of that sunlight into electricity.
The energy from the sun also gives warmth to the surface of the Earth, giving power to pressure and heat transfers in ocean currents and weather patterns, and the air that results powers wind turbines. The sun's energy also evaporates water that turns into rain and ends up behind dams, powering hydroelectric plants. Fossil fuels even originate from solar energy; when the sunlight warms a plant, photosynthesis traps some of the energy, keeping it in the form of chemical bonds, which ultimately end up releasing energy when burned or converted into fossil fuels.
The only forms of energy that do not ultimately come from solar power are nuclear energy that relies on long-buried radioactive elements, geothermal heating that relies on the Earth's own heat and tidal power generated from the orbit of the moon.Learn More
Lightning strikes reach the ground on Earth as much as 8 million times per day or 100 times per second, according to the National Severe Storms Laboratory. Out of all the lightning strikes in the world, the United States accounts for about 20 million of the total number of lightning strikes each year.Full Answer >
Air pressure, the force exerted on a mass by the weight of air particles, is measured in either inches of mercury or in millibars, represented by inHg and mb, respectively. One standard atmosphere, represented by the symbol atm, is equal to 29.92 inHg, or 1013.25 mb.Full Answer >
The mesosphere, which is the third innermost layer of the Earth's atmosphere, is comprised largely of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide. Its chemical composition differs very little from that of the innermost layers of atmosphere, with the approximate composition being 79 percent nitrogen, 20 percent oxygen and 1 percent carbon dioxide and other trace gases. The density of these gases is lower in the mesosphere than in the lower atmosphere.Full Answer >
The layers of the atmosphere are the exosphere, thermosphere, mesosphere, stratosphere and troposphere. The troposphere is the layer that is closest to the surface of the Earth, whereas the exosphere is the furthest layer from Earth's surface and the closest layer to outer space.Full Answer >