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NATS 1840 Lecture Notes - White Dwarf, Protestantism, Electromagnetic Spectrum

Natural Science
Course Code
NATS 1840
Carl Wolfe

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Biogeochemical Cycles
Part III – Energy Flow
The Sun (our source of energy)
All of the energy available on Earth comes to us from the Sun.
Facts about the Sun:
Size: 110 x Earth (diameter)
Mass: 333, 000 x Earth
Temp: 6000^0 (Surface)
10^7 (core)
Composition: 90% hydrogen
10% helium
Energy Source: Hydrogen fusion
The Suns power output varies continuously, but with some regularity.
- 11-year sunspot cycle is correlated with solar output.
- Brightness (output) is on a long term increasing trend; has probably risen by 25% since
the protestant phase
- When the supply of hydrogen to be “burned” runs out, the sun will die out and become a
white dwarf….. in about 5 billion years.
Earth (our home)
Distance from Sun: 150 000 000 km
Diameter: 12.745 km
Mass: 5.9 x 10^24 kg
Age: 4.6 billion years
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