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Thread: Simple solar constant calculation gone wrong

  1. #1 Simple solar constant calculation gone wrong 
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    Need help calculating the total power output of the sun from the solar constant
    Here's what i've got so far:

    Solar Constant = 1370Wm-2 of solar Energy arrives at the top of Earth’s atmosphere.

    Distance of Earth from the Sun = 1 AU = 149598000 km

    Surface area of Sphere with Radius equal to 1 AU = 4 x  x 149598000 x 103 = 1879903911000 m2

    Total Energy output of the Sun = 1879903911000 x 1370 = 2,575,468,358,070,000 W

    I know that the final answer is wrong from every source i've looked at so far. Where have i gone wrong?


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  3. #2 Re: Simple solar constant calculation gone wrong 
    Moderator Moderator Janus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JekPorkins
    Need help calculating the total power output of the sun from the solar constant
    Here's what i've got so far:

    Solar Constant = 1370Wm-2 of solar Energy arrives at the top of Earth’s atmosphere.

    Distance of Earth from the Sun = 1 AU = 149598000 km

    Surface area of Sphere with Radius equal to 1 AU = 4 x  x 149598000 x 103 = 1879903911000 m2

    Total Energy output of the Sun = 1879903911000 x 1370 = 2,575,468,358,070,000 W

    I know that the final answer is wrong from every source i've looked at so far. Where have i gone wrong?
    You came up way short on the surface area of the sphere.

    The surface area of the sphere is



    You forgot to square the radius(AU in meters).


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  4. #3  
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    i knew it was something stupid like that.

    thanks.
    I had a simple dream: a dream to kill all humans, and this is how you repay me?
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