Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 7 years ago

What does solar constant mean?

1 Answer

Relevance
  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The flux of energy that arrives from the Sun, at Earth's distance from the Sun (1 AU)

    it is approximately 1.36 to 1.37 kW/m²

    This is measured perpendicular to the direction of the flux (imagine holding a 1 square-metre panel directly facing the Sun), in space - before Earth's atmosphere has any effect on it (our atmosphere, clouds and snow will bouncs, on average, 37% of that back into space).

    The constant varies (every so slightly) over the 11-year cycle of activity of the Sun.

    The actual flux will vary according to Earth's position along its orbit (perihelion vs aphelion).

    It is called a "constant" because it can easily be used to calculate the flux to any other object, once you know its distance from the Sun in Astronomical Units (AU).

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.