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Sunlight
SUNLIGHT is a portion of the electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun
Sun
, in particular infrared , visible , and ultraviolet light. On Earth
Earth
, sunlight is filtered through Earth\'s atmosphere , and is obvious as daylight when the Sun
Sun
is above the horizon . When the direct solar radiation is not blocked by clouds , it is experienced as SUNSHINE, a combination of bright light and radiant heat . When it is blocked by clouds or reflects off other objects , it is experienced as diffused light. The World Meteorological Organization uses the term "sunshine duration " to mean the cumulative time during which an area receives direct irradiance from the Sun
Sun
of at least 120 watts per square meter . Other sources indicate an "Average over the entire earth" of "164 Watts per square meter over a 24 hour day"
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Diffuse Reflection
DIFFUSE REFLECTION is the reflection of light from a surface such that an incident ray is reflected at many angles rather than at just one angle as in the case of specular reflection . An illuminated ideal diffuse reflecting surface will have equal luminance from all directions which lie in the half-space adjacent to the surface ( Lambertian reflectance ). A surface built from a non-absorbing powder such as plaster , or from fibers such as paper, or from a polycrystalline material such as white marble , reflects light diffusely with great efficiency. Many common materials exhibit a mixture of specular and diffuse reflection. The visibility of objects, excluding light-emitting ones, is primarily caused by diffuse reflection of light: it is diffusely-scattered light that forms the image of the object in the observer's eye. CONTENTS* 1 Mechanism * 1.1 Specular
Specular
vs
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World Meteorological Organization
The WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 191 Member States and Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was founded in 1873. Established by the ratification of the WMO Convention on 23 March 1950, WMO became the specialised agency of the United Nations
United Nations
for meteorology (weather and climate ), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences a year later. Its current Secretary-General is Petteri Taalas and the President of the World Meteorological Congress, its supreme body, is David Grimes. The Organization is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland
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Clouds (meteorology)
In meteorology , a CLOUD is an aerosol comprising a visible mass of minute liquid droplets , frozen crystals , or particles suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of a planetary body. The droplets and crystals may be made of water or various chemicals. On Earth, clouds are formed as a result of saturation of the air when it is cooled to its dew point , or when it gains sufficient moisture (usually in the form of water vapor ) from an adjacent source to raise the dew point to the ambient temperature. They are seen in the Earth's homosphere (which includes the troposphere , stratosphere , and mesosphere ). NEPHOLOGY is the science of clouds which is undertaken in the cloud physics branch of meteorology . There are two methods of naming clouds in their respective layers of the atmosphere; Latin
Latin
and common
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Nanometre
The NANOMETRE (International spelling as used by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures ; SI symbol: NM) or NANOMETER (American spelling ) is a unit of length in the metric system , equal to one billionth of a metre (6991100000000000000♠0.000000001 m). The name combines the SI prefix nano- (from the Ancient Greek νάνος, nanos, "dwarf") with the parent unit name metre (from Greek μέτρον, metrοn, "unit of measurement"). It can be written in scientific notation as 6991100000000000000♠1×10−9 m, in engineering notation as 1 E−9 m, and is simply 1/7009100000000000000♠1000000000 metres. One nanometre equals ten ångströms . When used as a prefix for something other than a unit of measure (as in "nanoscience"), NANO refers to nanotechnology , or phenomena typically occurring on a scale of nanometres (see nanoscopic scale )
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Clouds
In meteorology , a CLOUD is an aerosol comprising a visible mass of minute liquid droplets , frozen crystals , or particles suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of a planetary body. The droplets and crystals may be made of water or various chemicals. On Earth, clouds are formed as a result of saturation of the air when it is cooled to its dew point , or when it gains sufficient moisture (usually in the form of water vapor ) from an adjacent source to raise the dew point to the ambient temperature. They are seen in the Earth's homosphere (which includes the troposphere , stratosphere , and mesosphere ). NEPHOLOGY is the science of clouds which is undertaken in the cloud physics branch of meteorology . There are two methods of naming clouds in their respective layers of the atmosphere; Latin
Latin
and common
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Atmospheric Extinction
In astronomy , EXTINCTION is the absorption and scattering of electromagnetic radiation by dust and gas between an emitting astronomical object and the observer . Interstellar extinction was first documented as such in 1930 by Robert Julius Trumpler
Robert Julius Trumpler
. However, its effects had been noted in 1847 by Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve , and its effect on the colors of stars had been observed by a number of individuals who did not connect it with the general presence of galactic dust. For stars that lie near the plane of the Milky Way
Milky Way
and are within a few thousand parsecs of the Earth, extinction in the visual band of frequencies (photometric system ) is on the order of 1.8 magnitudes per kiloparsec. For Earth
Earth
-bound observers, extinction arises both from the interstellar medium (ISM) and the Earth\'s atmosphere ; it may also arise from circumstellar dust around an observed object
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Irradiance
In radiometry , IRRADIANCE is the radiant flux (power ) received by a surface per unit area. The SI unit of irradiance is the watt per square metre (W/m2). The CGS unit erg per square centimetre per second (erg·cm−2·s−1) is often used in astronomy . Irradiance is often called "intensity" in branches of physics other than radiometry, but in radiometry this usage leads to confusion with radiant intensity . SPECTRAL IRRADIANCE is the irradiance of a surface per unit frequency or wavelength , depending on whether the spectrum is taken as a function of frequency or of wavelength. The two forms have different dimensions : spectral irradiance of a frequency spectrum is measured in watts per square metre per hertz (W·m−2·Hz−1), while spectral irradiance of a wavelength spectrum is measured in watts per square metre per metre (W·m−3), or more commonly watts per square metre per nanometre (W·m−2·nm−1)
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Zenith
The ZENITH is an imaginary point directly "above" a particular location, on the imaginary celestial sphere . "Above" means in the vertical direction opposite to the apparent gravitational force at that location. The opposite direction, i.e. the direction in which gravity pulls, is toward the nadir . The zenith is the "highest" point on the celestial sphere (meaning it is the farthest up from the gravitational force). CONTENTS * 1 Origin * 2 Relevance and use * 3 See also * 4 References ORIGINThe word "zenith" derives from an inaccurate reading of the Arabic expression سمت الرأس (samt ar-ra's) proposed by ancient Persian astronomers, meaning "direction of the head" or "path above the head", by Medieval Latin scribes in the Middle Ages (during the 14th century), possibly through Old Spanish . It was reduced to 'samt' ("direction") and miswritten as 'senit'/'cenit', as the "m" was misread as an "ni"
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Chemical Energy
In chemistry , CHEMICAL ENERGY is the potential of a chemical substance to undergo a transformation through a chemical reaction to transform other chemical substances. Examples include batteries, food, gasoline, and more. Breaking or making of chemical bonds involves energy , which may be either absorbed or evolved from a chemical system. A very common misconception is that energy is released when bonds are broken, whereas energy is required to break bonds. Energy
Energy
that can be released (or absorbed) because of a reaction between a set of chemical substances is equal to the difference between the energy content of the products and the reactants, if the initial and final temperatures are the same. This change in energy can be estimated from the bond energies of the various chemical bonds in the reactants and products
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Earth's Orbit
EARTH\'S ORBIT is the trajectory along which Earth
Earth
travels around the Sun
Sun
. The average distance between the Earth
Earth
and the Sun
Sun
is 149.60 million km (92.96 million mi), and one complete orbit takes 365.256 days (1 sidereal year ), during which time Earth
Earth
has traveled 940 million km (584 million mi). Earth's orbit
Earth's orbit
has an eccentricity of 0.0167. As seen from Earth, the planet's orbital prograde motion makes the Sun
Sun
appear to move with respect to other stars at a rate of about 1° (or a Sun
Sun
or Moon
Moon
diameter every 12 hours) eastward per solar day . Earth's orbital speed averages about 30 km/s (108,000 km/h; 67,000 mph), which is fast enough to cover the planet's diameter in 7 minutes and the distance to the Moon
Moon
in 4 hours
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Autotroph
An AUTOTROPH ("self-feeding", from the Greek autos "self" and trophe "nourishing") or PRODUCER, is an organism that produces complex organic compounds (such as carbohydrates , fats , and proteins ) from simple substances present in its surroundings, generally using energy from light (photosynthesis ) or inorganic chemical reactions (chemosynthesis ). They are the producers in a food chain , such as plants on land or contrast to heterotrophs as consumers of autotrophs). They do not need a living source of energy or organic carbon . Autotrophs can reduce carbon dioxide to make organic compounds for biosynthesis and also create a store of chemical energy. Most autotrophs use water as the reducing agent , but some can use other hydrogen compounds such as hydrogen sulfide . Some autotrophs, like green plants and algae, are phototrophs , meaning that they convert electromagnetic energy from sunlight into chemical energy in the form of reduced carbon
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Photosynthesis
PHOTOSYNTHESIS is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy into chemical energy that can later be released to fuel the organisms' activities (energy transformation ). This chemical energy is stored in carbohydrate molecules , such as sugars , which are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water – hence the name photosynthesis, from the Greek φῶς, phōs, "light", and σύνθεσις, synthesis, "putting together". In most cases, oxygen is also released as a waste product. Most plants , most algae , and cyanobacteria perform photosynthesis; such organisms are called photoautotrophs . Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis
is largely responsible for producing and maintaining the oxygen content of the Earth's atmosphere, and supplies all of the organic compounds and most of the energy necessary for life on Earth
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Square Meter
The SQUARE METRE (International spelling as used by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures ) or SQUARE METER (American spelling ) is the SI derived unit
SI derived unit
of area , with symbol m2 (33A1 in Unicode
Unicode
). It is the area of a square whose sides measure exactly one metre . The square metre is derived from the SI base unit
SI base unit
of the metre, which itself is defined as the length of the path travelled by light in absolute vacuum during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second . Adding and subtracting SI prefixes creates multiples and submultiples; however, as the unit is squared, the order of magnitude difference between units doubles from their comparable linear units. For example, a kilometre is 1000 times the length of a metre, but a square kilometre is 1 000 000 times the area of a square metre
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