Astrophysics (Index)About

solar constant

(flux from the Sun at 1 AU)

The solar constant is the flux (amount of electromagnetic radiation per unit area) from the Sun hitting something 1 AU away, e.g., hitting Earth. It ranges from ~1.361 to ~1.362 kilowatts per meter², at the solar minimum and maximum. Since Earth is in a slightly eccentric orbit rather than always 1 AU from the Sun, the flux actually hitting Earth atmosphere varies around this solar constant, currently varying roughly 7% over the course of each year.

(EMR,physics,constant,flux,Sun,solar system,Earth)
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watt (W)