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CAN WE NOT TRUST THE SUN?

Sometimes, work is not done properly. The entity in charge
of correctness and behavior has to check on things to make
sure everything is well done. I once made a card that said,
"When we planted corn, we expected corn to grow; not cabbage.
We do not have to keep digging it up to make sure it is still
corn." The brilliant scientist wants us to keep taking the
temperature of things, apparently to see if the sun is doing
its' work. Or maybe for some other reason.

Fill a plastic bag with soil, and place a small thermometer
on top of the soil. Tie the bag securely. Place another
thermometer on an open container of identical soil outside
the bag. Leave both the bag and the container in bright
sunlight, and record the temperature readings every ten
minutes for an hour. Compare the readings from the two
thermometers. The data can be graphed.

Oh, good. Now we'll have hundreds of graphs to prove to us
that the sun is doing what it is supposed to do. Do you
think that when people lie in the sun all day long, they are
just keeping tabs on the workings of the sun? That wrinkled,
pre-cancerous skin with blisters on it is certainly evidence
of the sun's function.

Why is one set of readings higher than the other? Although
both samples of soil received the same amount of solar
energy, the energy absorbed by the soil in the bag heated the
air confined in the bag. The trapped air, in turn, kept the
soil warm.

Fill two identical pans with equal quantities of soil or sand
and set them in a warm place for several hours. Insert a
thermometer in each pan 1/2 inch beneath the surface of the
soil or sand. On a sunless, windless day, put both pans
outdoors and away from any buildings. Place a cloth or
canvas covering a few inches above one of the pans. For an
hour, take temperature readings of the soil every ten
minutes. The data may be graphed. Another great graph.

You should see that the uncovered pan cools more rapidly,
while heat energy strikes the canvas above the covered pan.
Some of the heat energy striking the canvas is reflected
back, some is retained, and some is transmitted to the soil
in the pan beneath.

How can there be a sunless day? If there were no sun that
day, it would be dark as the inside of a goat, and it would
not be called "day." There is probably no such thing as a
"sunless" day. It probably refers to a day when there are
many clouds between earth and sun, and the sun doesn't shine.

 
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