How Much Energy Does the Sun Produce?

How Much Energy Does the Sun Produce?


In 1 sec the sun generates more energy than has been used in all of mankind's history

That is a lot of energy. This fact demonstrates the incredible amount of power our Sun generates. But just how much energy is this and is there any way we can comprehend it? Let’s take a closer look.

Energy is measured in Joules and 1 joule is the amount of energy it takes to heat 1 gram of dry cool air by 1 degree Celsius. If you left a typical 10-watt flashlight on for one minute this would equate to about 600 Joules of energy. Each year (as of 2010) the world is estimated to use 5 x 1020 Joules of energy.

In 1 second the Sun generates 3.8 x 1026 Joules. That is 3.8 followed by 26 zeroes. In the UK that is 380 quadrillion Joules every second and in short scale numbers it would be 380 septillion Joules. These numbers are enormous and hard to visualise in your mind. To try to help a bit the estimated number of stars in the whole of the observable universe is up to 1 quadrillion (UK) or 1 septillion (US).  So the amount of energy released by the Sun in 1 second is a number about 380 times larger than the number of stars in the entire observable universe.

If only we could harness the Sun’s raw power better than we do currently, it would solve all our energy needs.

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