Why does the sun burn us?


Ultraviolet radiation abstract concept vector illustration.
Ultraviolet radiation abstract concept vector illustration. Radiation protection, ozone layer destruction, ultraviolet irradiation, epidermis disease cause, UV rays exposure abstract metaphor.


The sun sends different types of energy to the earth, These include infrared radiation, which is the heat we feel, visible light, which is what our eyes see, and ultraviolet radiation. Which we can’t see with our eyes but can burn our skin. (1) The sun keeps our planet warm enough for living things to thrive, and it gives us light so we can see. But it may also burn us, What may cause these burns? 

Infrared light, visible light, and ultraviolet light are different types of electromagnetic spectrum waves, the difference between them lies in the energy carried by each type. Some carry more energy than others (2).

Why does the sun burn us? 1
image: Electromagnetic spectrum waves

If ultraviolet rays directly hit our skin for a long time, it harms skin cells, Our skin becomes red and may hurt us a lot.(2)

Although ultraviolet light comes primarily from the sun, it can also bounce back from reflective surfaces, Such as water, snow and concrete surfaces. Even if you’re under an umbrella, the chance of getting a sunburn is still there.
UV rays can also pass through clouds, so they can also burn on an overcast day.
You can protect your skin from UV waves with clothes and hats, and sunscreen contains chemicals that can reflect or absorb UV rays, So you can enjoy visible sunlight and infrared warmth without getting hurt.(1)

Sources:

  1. Sunlight [Internet]. Energy Education. : Here
  2. Sobell JM. What happens when you get a sunburn. Scientific American [Internet]. : Here
  3. Clear Skies vs. Cloud Cover. [Internet]. Sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu. : Here


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