Week of October 16, 2022

How Every Day Originates


By one count, there are well over 100 different sun gods and goddesses from religions all over the world.


The Earth is actually farthest from the sun in the summer and closest the winter, but the summer sun rays hit at a steeper angle. Hence these summer rays reach us with more focused intensity, as well as longer days to experience the light and heat.


The casual observer may think the sun is fixed and unchanging, but periodic energy outbursts in the form of solar flares and coronal mass ejections can cause huge problems to Earth’s electrical and electronics infrastructure. Events like this make up part of what is known as “space weather.”


Thanks to Earth’s axial tilt, several cities in the farther latitudes don’t see the sun go down for about 2.5 months straight, while during the opposite time of year, it doesn’t come up for that long. Travel to the North or South Poles, “polar day” and “polar night” last for six months at a time.


Humanity has about 5 billion years to find and colonize one or more other livable planets before our own sun consumes all its hydrogen fuel and burns out.


The massive asteroid that hit Earth 66 million years ago sent so much dust and debris into the atmosphere that the sun was largely blotted out for years. Fewer plants grew, which played a huge role in the extinction of the dinosaurs.


If Earth was closer to the sun, it would likely be too hot for life to evolve, as on Mercury or Venus, where water boils away. If it were further, it would be to cold and water would freeze, like on the outer planets. For this reason, scientists coined the term “Goldilocks Zone” for the distance from a sun hospitable to liquid water and therefore life.