What causes the sun to appear?

What causes the sun to appear?

The fact that Earth circles the Sun while tilted on its axis is the first important contribution to the Sun's apparent velocity. The Earth's axial tilt of about 23.5 degrees assures that viewers in various locations will see the Sun rise and set at different times of the year. Viewers on the equator see it rise and set once a year, while those at the poles see it rise twice a year and set twice a year.

The second important factor is the distance between Earth and the Sun. Because of this distance, the Sun appears smaller when it is farther from Earth. And because it takes light six minutes to reach us across the solar system, it appears as though it is taking 6 minutes for it to go down instead of up. Light from the Sun must travel through space and around Earth before reaching our eyes.

Earth's atmosphere also affects how we see the Sun. When clouds are present within Earth's atmosphere they will reflect some sunlight back towards space, thus reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches the ground. But even with all of Earth's atmosphere, there are still regions where clouds don't exist or where they are thin enough to allow most of the sunlight through. These areas receive direct sunlight all day long regardless of the presence or absence of clouds elsewhere.

Finally, something has to cause these regions to appear dark when night falls. Here on Earth, this is made possible by clouds forming over these regions.

What causes the movement of the sun?

The apparent motion of the sun is completely generated by the movement of the Earth. Our planet spins on its axis while while orbiting the Sun. The apparent motion of the Sun is formed by the combination of these two movements. If we were not spinning, the sun would appear to stay in one place and all around it would be dark.

Actually, the sun does not stay in one place but it moves across the sky at over 500 miles per hour. This happens because it takes the Earth a little over 24 hours to complete one rotation. During this time, the center of our planet is moving toward the sun by about 1 million miles. Because of this distance increase, more and more surface area is exposed to the sun every day. Before you know it, all that new face value has led to more sunlight reaching the earth's atmosphere which causes more clouds to form.

There are two ways in which the Earth's movement can be seen from space. With a telescope, astronauts have seen both poles of the planet at once. They can do this because each day at noon, the Earth turns under its own shadow. At this point, both polar regions are equally illuminated.

Astronauts have also reported seeing waves on the sea during periods of solar activity.

Why does the sun appear to move across the sky?

The apparent motion of the sun, produced by the Earth's rotation on its axis, alters the angle at which the direct component of light strikes the Earth. The sun seems to move across the sky from a stationary place on Earth. Because the horizon is always in the same direction, we can say that the sun appears to move across the sky.

The path the sun takes through the sky each day is called its ecliptic. The word "eclipse" comes from a Greek word for "to cut out," because during a total solar eclipse the moon blocks out part of the sun, causing it to darken and become invisible from certain parts of Earth.

Total solar eclipses are visible from everywhere on Earth except within a band extending from about 60 degrees north or south of the path taken by the Moon as it orbits Earth. This region is blocked out by sunlight from all the stars beyond the Sun as seen from where it passes over the Earth. For example, when the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun, only the stars behind it are visible in the night sky. During a total solar eclipse, the Earth, and with it, the Moon, completely block out the Sun, causing darkness to fall over a large portion of the planet for several minutes or more.

About Article Author

Vickie Yates

Vickie Yates is a spiritual healer, mystic and shaman. She has been practicing for over thirty years in the field of spirituality and healing. Vickie works with clients one-on-one to provide them with tools that they can use in their daily life to help them live a more fulfilling life. She also does group workshops and demonstrations on topics such as meditation, energy work, chakra awareness, psychic protection and aura reading.

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