SOLAR IRRADIANCE & SOLAR ACTIVITY CYCLES

Abstract:
Solar Irradiance, the amount of energy reaching the earth, is a key factor in any study of earths’ climate. Since the 1960’s scientists have used satellites to measure the intensity of incoming solar radiation as part of an attempt to unravel the questions behind earths energy budget. Earth’s energy budget refers to the balance between incoming and outgoing radiation in the the earth system. In a balanced system ENERGY IN -ENERGY OUT = 0. Current concerns about “global warming” have drawn increased attention to earth’s energy budget and solar irradiance measurements. Since 1978 NASA has maintained records of satellite solar irradiance measurements taken by a variety of satellites. In this investigation students will examine solar activity and solar irradiance data. Students will describe relationships that exist between solar irradiance measurements and solar cycle data.

Outcome:


Suggested Grade Level & Duration:
Grades 9-12; 1 fifty-minute periods.

Materials:
Pencil
Worksheet
Computer
Internet Access



Background - Procedure - Standards - Credits