Scientists explain why the sun does not warm space
This phenomenon was explained by NASA thermal engineer Elizabeth Abel.
The solar system is full of extreme temperatures. If a sufficiently warm environment remains on the surface of the globe, then in space the temperature regime fluctuates at very low levels, Chronicle.info reports with reference to Channel 24.
The question arises as to why the sun does not heat up outer space, as well as the Earth. This phenomenon was explained by NASA thermal engineer Elizabeth Abel.
Why is it warm on Earth and cold in space
The sun is essentially a ball of gas and fire, Abel says. In the very heart of the heavenly body, a temperature of about 15 million degrees Celsius reigns, and on its surface – more than 5 and a half thousand. Meanwhile, the temperature of space fluctuates within 270 degrees with a minus mark.
How can this be
The engineer explained that heat moves through space in the form of an infrared wave of energy that migrates from heated objects to cooler ones. Radiation waves come into contact with molecules and heat them.
Heating the Earth
- This is how heat from the Sun comes to the Earth and spreads by three methods: heat conduction, radiation and convection.
- First, the sun's rays heat molecules in the atmosphere, then a chain reaction occurs when heated particles crash into their neighbors and transfer this additional energy to them.
- This is why the air is warm even in the shade.
What's wrong with space
But in space, gas molecules are very small and they are located far from each other, because of this they cannot contact. Therefore, even when the infrared waves of the sun heat them, the transfer of this heat by means of conduction is not possible. It's the same with convection. This form of heat transfer occurs only in the presence of gravity, and does not work in a weightless environment.
Interesting facts about solar energy
- Solar energy does not produce pollutants and is one of the cleanest sources of energy.
- Although the Sun is located almost 150 million kilometers from the Earth, the rays of light walk this distance in less than 10 minutes.
- Green plants, through photosynthesis, convert solar energy into chemical energy, which creates biomass – the basis of fossil fuels.
- Solar energy suitable for drinking water production. Wastewater can be treated without the use of electricity or chemicals.
- Wide beams of light can be focused into narrow beams using mirrors or lenses to produce concentrated solar energy.
- Solar energy has been used since the 6th century BC. Curved mirrors made of shiny metal have been used to focus the sun's rays to ignite a fire. They were called yang-suis – solar igniters, or burning mirrors.