Radiation is the release of energy in the form of electromagnetic waves or moving subatomic particles, particularly energetic particles that induce ionization. It is a natural phenomenon that exists all around us. Radiation can originate from different sources, ranging from the sun and radioactive substances to common objects like cell phones and microwaves.
There are basically two main types of radiation namely, ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation. The former possesses sufficient energy to eliminate tightly bound electrons from atoms, thereby causing ionization. X-rays, gamma rays, and certain forms of ultraviolet (UV) radiation are examples of ionizing radiation.
On the contrary, non-ionizing radiation lacks a sufficient amount of energy to ionize atoms. Some examples of it include visible light, radio waves, and infrared radiation. Now, let’s learn about solar Radiation.
What is Solar Radiation?
Solar radiation is the energy released by the sun that travels as electromagnetic waves in all directions through space. It is emitted by the surface of the sun and influences atmospheric and climatological processes. The sun is responsible for important things like plant photosynthesis, the Earth’s temperature, and wind formation for wind power.
What are the Types of Solar Radiation?
Depending on its form upon reaching the Earth, this radiation is of the following types-
- Diffuse solar radiation: It is the radiation that manages to reach the Earth’s surface after going through numerous changes in its path, such as interactions with atmospheric gases.
- Direct solar radiation: This radiation goes through the atmosphere and reaches the Earth without spreading.
- Reflected solar radiation: This refers to the fraction of solar radiation that the Earth’s surface reflects on its own. This takes place in a phenomenon known as the albedo effect.
Also See: What is Direct Beam Radiation?
Depending on the types of light, this radiation can also be categorized as-
- Infrared rays (IR): It has a longer wavelength than visible light and is released as heat by objects with temperatures above 0º Kelvin.
- Visible rays (VI): These are the ones that our eyes can see as different colors, such as red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue, and violet.
- Ultraviolet (UV) rays: They are not visible to the naked eye, but they have a harmful influence on our skin, causing burns, blemishes, and wrinkles.
Must Read: What is Electromagnetic Radiation?