The Sun and its Influence on Earth
The Sun is vital for life on Earth. The quest to understand the energy source of the Sun has been a long and fruitful one. Developments in Physics in the 20th Century allowed astronomers to finally unlock the secrets of processes deep within the Sun and other stars. Today the Sun is continuously monitored at a range of wavebands. Events on the Sun such as Coronal Mass Ejections have a direct impact on our atmosphere.
4. The Sun is a typical star, emitting electromagnetic radiation and particles that influence the Earth
- identify that energy may be released from the nuclei of atoms
- describe the nature of emissions from the nuclei of atoms as radiation of alpha (α) and beta (β) particles and gamma (γ) rays in terms of:
- identify the nature of emissions reaching the Earth from the Sun
- describe the particulate nature of the solar wind
- outline the cyclic nature of sunspot activity and its impact on Earth through solar winds
- describe sunspots as representing regions of strong magnetic activity and lower temperature
- perform a first-hand investigation to gather information to compare the penetrating power of alpha, beta and gamma radiation in a range of materials
- identify data sources, gather and process information and use available evidence to assess the effects of sunspot activity on the Earth’s power grid and satellite communications.
Physics Stage 6 Syllabus © Copyright 2002 The State of New South Wales (Board of Studies).
New material for this unit will be available soon. In the meantime you can view material on the Sun and its influence on Earth written for the first version of the new syllabus here.