Chapter 8: Section 8 - The Sun and its Effects

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In this section you will find materials that support the implementation of EarthComm, Section 8: The Sun and its Effects.

Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze and interpret sunspot and solar flare data.
  • Obtain information about solar activity and its effects.

Inquiring Further

  1. To learn more about daily solar activity, visit the following web sites:

    What’s Up in Space, Spaceweather
    Get the most recent information about solar flares, sunspots, and coronal holes.

    Solar Terrestrial Activity Report, GFZ Potsdam
    Check out the most recent sun spot data.

    The very latest SOHO images, The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory - NASA
    See some of the most recent images of the sun.
  2. To learn more about the auroras, visit the following web sites:

    'tis the Season for Auroras, NASA
    Autumn is a good time to spot Northern Lights, and scientists would like to know why.

    Auroras - Paintings in the Sky, Exploratorium
    This site will show you what auroras look like on Earth and from space, explain how they are created, and show you where they can be found. Teach yourself using the "Self-Guided Lesson" button.
  3. To learn more about solar radiation and airplane passengers, visit the following web site:

    Airline Radiation Threat to be Assessed, BBC
    Learn about a study to monitor the amount of radiation to which airline passengers and crew are exposed in flight.
  4. To learn more about the hole in the ozone layer, visit the following web site:

    The Effects of Ozone Depletion, EPA
    This page has links to articles that give overviews or broad information, shorter pieces that focus on specific aspects of ozone depletion, international organizations that issue regular updates, and images and animations of ozone levels and ozone depletion.
  5. To learn more about the life of British physicist Edward Victor Appleton, visit the following web sites:

    Biography of Sir Edward Victor Appleton, Nobel e-Museum
    Read a biography of the physicist Sir Edward Victor Appleton.


To learn more about this topic, visit the following web sites:

Structure of the Sun

A Look Inside Our Nearest Star!, Montana State University
Find out more about the interior structure of our nearest star. This page features a brief introduction with links to separate pages on different parts of the sun.

Anatomy of the Sun, NASA
Read this in-depth description of the Sun’s structure.

The Earth's Energy Budget

Climate and Earth's Energy Budget, NASA
An in-depth article on Earth's energy budget.

Earth's Energy Budget, Oklahoma Climatological Survey
Follow along with a two page description of the balance between the amount of energy absorbed into and released out of the Earth's system.

Harmful Solar Radiation

Health effects of overexposure to the sun, EPA
Learn more about the health risks from ultraviolet radiation.

Sunlight, Ultraviolet Radiation, and the Skin, National Institutes of Health
A report from 1989 that addresses, among other issues, what are the sources of ultraviolet radiation, and is the extent of human exposure changing over time?

Sun and Skin, National Institutes of Health
Article about the dark side of sun exposure.

Ozone Depletion, EPA
Navigate through a web site dedicated to the topic of ozone depletion. In particular, check out the Ozone Science Fact Sheet to review some basic facts.

Sunspots and Solar Flares

Solar Flare Theory, Goddard Space Flight Center - NASA
The purpose of this page is to provide some general information about solar flares, a "feel" for scientific research into the energetic emissions from flares, and a glance into the future of solar flare research.

Animations and Video

To view animations and video related to this topic, visit the following web sites:

Massive Solar Eruption Close-up, NASA
Watch this video that shows a solar flare with a spectacular coronal mass ejection.

Launchpad: Clouds and Earth's Radiation Budget, NASA
At this website, locate and watch the NASA eClip titled, "Launchpad: Clouds and Earth's Radiation Budget."  This video examines Earth's radiation budget.