Definition of Solar Energy

Solar energy is energy from the sun.

When the sun's energy reaches the earth in the form of sunlight, it can be converted into other forms of energy.

How does the sun emit energy?

The sun is a huge ball of gas, mostly hydrogen with a little helium. The gravitational attraction of all that mass makes enormous pressure in the interior that forces the hydrogen atoms to fuse together in a nuclear reaction that creates helium atoms and radiant energy.

How does the sun's energy travel to earth?

The radiant energy is carried by packets of light called photons. The photons are bundles whose energy depends on frequency. The radiant energy corresponds to a range of wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum, of which visible light is only a small portion.

Why is the sun's energy important?

Solar energy makes life on earth possible. The sun is the source of energy for most of earth's processes. It enables plants to grow, rain to fall and wind to blow. Solar energy can also be converted into electricity, a necessity of the modern world.

Did you know?

In one hour, the sun provides more energy to the Earth's surface than the world's population uses in a year.