• Question: How do we get energy from the sun?

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      Asked by yuliya to Anne, Florence, Mark, Neil, Sinead on 15 Nov 2015.
      • Photo: Florence McCarthy

        Florence McCarthy answered on 15 Nov 2015:

        Plants use the sun for photosynthesis and convert it’s energy (in the form of light) into chemicals such as glucose that we use for energy.

      • Photo: Mark Collins

        Mark Collins answered on 15 Nov 2015:

        The sun’s energy is primarily sent to us through heat and according to the law of thermodynamics heat can never be created nor destroyed so this heat energy warms the oceans and along with the moon creates tides. We can also use this in solar panels, you may have noticed these on more and more roofs around the country, here we harness the energy through very advanced cells called photovoltaic cells that convert the heat an flight into electricity that we can use everyday.

      • Photo: Neil Day

        Neil Day answered on 16 Nov 2015:

        There is plenty of energy we can get from the sun through it’s ultraviolet light that get’s into our atmosphere. we then harness this through solar panels and plants use through photosynthesis, etc.

        The real trick would be try and harness solar radiation that has a higher energy level from space. The Earth’s atmosphere protects us but in space, there is no atmosphere. This is why the ISS needs radiation shielding to protect the astromauts and cosmonauts inside.
        Capturing radiation in space is obviusly a bit of a tall order with today’s technology but offers great potential if a way could be found to do this

      • Photo: Sinead Balgobin

        Sinead Balgobin answered on 16 Nov 2015:

        UV and light radiation from the sun is used by plants in photosynthesis (which is then passed on though the food chain) and by solar panels to create electricity. The sun’s heat keeps our planet warm, which provides engergy for chemical reactions to happen, and to keep water a liquid (on a good day).