posted by Jennifer on .
My science teacher asked me to write a paragraph. can you please explain to me what processes take place before we receive the suns energy. it's hard for me o understand if it's not presented in the form of a diagram.
I can't draw you a diagram, but the energy from the sun comes from nuclear fusion reactions that convert hydrogen into helium deep inside the sun. That energy cannot leave the sun right way, but takes many years to reach the surface of the sun by a process of radiative light emission, absorption, and re-emission. Some like to think of the energy escape from the sun as a "photon random walk" process.
Once the light leaves the sun's surface, that which it "aimed" in our direction reaches Earth in eight minutes. About 20% of that energy warms the atmosphere right away. About 40% is reflected by clouds and snow and is lost. The remaining radiative energy that which gets through the atmosphere cloud layer warms the surface and participates in photosynthesis reactions that provide additional energy for life on Earth.