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WHAT DOES THE SUN DO FOR US?

Put equal amounts of ice in two glasses. Place one in the
shade and one in the sunlight. Observe in which glass the
ice melts more quickly.

You will realize that the deciding factor is the heat from
the sun.

Obtain two small identical flasks. Coat one with candle soot
or cover it with aluminum foil to prevent sunlight from
entering. This is the experimental flask.

Insert a thermometer into each of two one-hole stoppers, and
place one in each flask.

Set the flasks in a place that is shaded from direct sunlight
until they are cool, then read and record their temperatures.

Next set both flasks in the direct sunlight, and record the
thermometer readings once a minute until the same readings
appear at least three times in a row for each thermometer.

The results can be plotted on a graph. You will readily
realize that the sun's radiant energy easily enters the
uncovered flask and is converted into heat energy that can be
measured by the thermometer.

The experimental flask remains cool because the radiant
energy could not enter it.

Make an analogy to the radiant energy that penetrates the
earth's atmosphere, strikes the earth, and is converted into
heat energy.

As a supplementary activity, repeat the above procedure after
covering the experimental flask with various materials such
as colored cellophane or paint.

You can also fill the experimental flask with various solid
or liquid substances such as soil or water.


 
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