Physical Science 101
Solar Interactions Study Guide
After the "Solar Interactions" lecture and readings you should be able to answer and discuss the following questions.
List in order from the center outward all of the major celestial bodies in the Solar System.
What is the physical basis for a year?
How long is a year?
What is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun?
What is the physical basis for a day?
How long is a day?
What is the Earth's current axial tilt?
How is axial tilt measured?
What is the plane of the ecliptic?
What is precession?
How long does it take the Earth's axis to make one complete precession?
How many years does it take the Earth's axis to precess one degree?
What are seasons?
What are the two factors which control the change of seasons?
What is an Equinox?
What is the subsolar point?
During an Equinox, where is the subsolar point and the circle of illumination?
What are the dates of the Vernal and Autumnal Equinox?
What is a Solstice?
During an Solstice, where is the subsolar point and the circle of illumination?
What are the dates of the Winter and Summer Solstice?
What are the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn?
What is the latitude of the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn?
What are the Arctic and Antarctic Circles?
What is the latitude of the Arctic and Antarctic Circles?
How do the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and the Arctic and Antarctic Circles all relate to the Plane of the Ecliptic?
What is energy?
What is temperature?
What is heat?
What is kinetic energy?
What is the difference between kinetic and potential energy?
How does kinetic energy relate to temperature?
How does energy flow?
Explain how heat is transfered in each of the following methods: radiation; conduction; convection
What is the electromagnetic radiation spectrum?
In order, what are the specific forms of electromagnetic radiation?
Define blackbody radiation.
Define the Stefan-Boltzman Law of radiation.
Define the Wien's Displacement Law of radiation.
Define the Kirchoff Law of radiation.
What percentage of incoming solar radiation from the Sun is visible radiation?
Which radiation band (ultraviolet, visible, infrared) is produced in the greatest quantities?
At what radiation band is solar radiation most intense?
What fraction of all incoming solar radiation is reflected back into space?
What are the forms of outgoing radiation?
Which components of the Earth’s atmosphere block outgoing radiation?
What is the Global Radiation Balance?
If more radiation is received than is lost, what are the results to Earth's climate?
If more radiation is lost than is received, what are the results to Earth's climate?
What is insolation?
What is insulation?
Define the terms in regards to insolation: albedo, absorption, transmission, redirection, reflection, and scattering.
Describe the path of incoming solar radiation in terms of reflection and absorption.
Describe the path of longwave energy flow within the Earth's atmosphere.
What does a global energy balance mean?
Define and describe the greenhouse effect.
Where on the Earth's surface is most of the solar energy received?
Where on the Earth's surface is most of the longwave energy lost to space?