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Solar Radiation and its Changes1

Nature volume 110, pages 608609 (04 November 1922) | Download Citation



WHEN one reflects upon the wide knowledge vv gained by astronomers concerning stellar and nebular radiation and variability, it at first seems surprising that variation in the visible radiation emitted by the sun has been discovered only recently and with much difficulty. Not until the second decade of this century could the fact be regarded as established, as a consequence of simultaneous determinations of the “solar constant” made by the staff of the Astrophysical Observatory of the Smithsonian Institution, at two stations so widely separated as, Bassour in Algeria and Mount Wilson in California.: The solar constant is, of course, the estimated value of the intensity of total solar radiation, in calories per square centimetre per minute, at a point just outside the earth's atmosphere, i.e. before suffering absorption in transmission to the earth's surface.

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