Concept: Sun as a Natural Resource
The Sun is the most important star located at the centre of the solar system. It is a hot ball of gases that releases both light and heat energy and assists in the sustenance of life on earth. The Sun is the largest object in the entire solar system.
The Sun as a major source of energy:
- The Sun is a renewable abiotic energy resource that provides energy in the form of heat and light.
- The energy obtained from the Sun is called solar energy.
- Solar energy is mainly used for heating purposes and generating electricity.
Why is the Sun an important natural resource?
The Sun is responsible for the existence of life on earth. All living organisms, including plants, animals, birds, insects, etc., need sunlight to survive. The Sun also controls the weather and different atmospheric processes in our environment.
The reasons for which the Sun is considered vital are mentioned below—
- The occurrence of day and night, as well as the change of seasons, are caused by the earth’s movement around the Sun.
- Plants utilise the Sun’s energy to prepare their food by photosynthesis.
- The Sun heats the water in oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, etc., thereby playing a significant role in forming clouds and rainfall.
- Coal, oil, and natural gas originate from dead plants and animals that were buried in the soil. The energy in them came from the Sun. We utilise this energy by using the fuels to cook our food, warm our houses, run our vehicles, etc.
- Sunlight is required to cultivate crops as all seeds germinate in the presence of sunlight.
- Solar heaters placed on the roofs of buildings help warm the water for daily purposes.
- Solar panels are fitted at specific locations to capture the solar energy and transform it into electricity.
- We dry certain food items like pickles, papads, fish, etc., in strong sunlight.
- Solar cookers are used for cooking food. The sunlight warms the pot in which the food is cooked.
Disinfection of water by sunlight:
The steps involved in the disinfection of water by sunlight are given below—
- A transparent bottle is washed properly.
- The bottle is filled with water, and its lid is tightly closed.
- The bottle is then kept horizontally in strong sunlight for at least 6 hours.
- If it is cloudy, the bottle needs to be left for 2 days.
- The UV rays coming from the Sun help in killing the germs present in the water.
- The water becomes ready for drinking.
The above-mentioned method is called Solar Water Disinfection or, in short, SODIS.
Health benefits from the Sun:
- The Sun is responsible for strengthening our bones.
- It helps in the synthesis of Vitamin D.
- Proper exposure to sunlight is necessary for good sleep.
- Being out in the Sun helps reduce the risk of cancer.
- Exposure to sunlight helps maintain the blood pressure.
Solar system: It is the home to the Sun and all the objects moving around the Sun, including our earth.
Disinfection of water: The process of removing disease-causing germs from the water.
UV rays: UV or Ultra-violet rays are light rays coming from the Sun that are invisible to us.
Vitamin D: An important substance required for building bones and keeping our heart in good condition. Vitamin D, along with calcium, make our bones strong and healthy.
Did You Know?
- The Sun is 4.5 billion years old.
- As the Sun is so essential for our existence, many cultures around the world have worshipped the Sun through the years.
- The surface of the Sun is called the photosphere.
- Solar energy does not create pollution.
- The world’s largest solar power plant is in the Mojave Desert.