Thursday, October 28, 2010

Altitude and Sunburn | Reference to Bryson | Dermatone


The topic of altitude and sun strength came up in a conversation again. People often think that because they are higher up in the atmosphere (like in Coloradoat 5,000-10,000 feet above sea level) that they are closer to the sun and thus it is stronger and as a result, they are more exposed to the sun's rays and can get sunburn easier. That in fact is incorrect. Read the excerpt below from Bill Bryson. And to protect your skin, use Dermatone products, feel the rush,  not the burn! I trust Dermatone to protect my skin when I'm in altitude. It also helps prevent windburn.

Bryson explains how the sun is extremely far away and going 5,000 feet closer to it is not making the sun ray's stronger. It is due to a lack molecular interference from atmospheric oxygen that allows more exposure to the sun's rays. Please read:

17 INTO THE TROPOSPHERE

"THANK GOODNESS FOR the atmosphere. It keeps us warm. Without it, Earth would be a lifeless ball of ice with an average temperature of minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, the atmosphere absorbs or deflects incoming swarms of cosmic rays, charged particles, ultraviolet rays, and the like. Altogether, the gaseous padding of the atmosphere is equivalent to a fifteen-foot thickness of protective concrete, and without it these invisible visitors from space would slice through us like tiny daggers. Even raindrops would pound us senseless if it weren’t for the atmosphere’s slowing drag...............

.................In the 1780s when people began to make experimental balloon ascents in Europe, something that surprised them was how chilly it got as they rose. The temperature drops about 3 degrees Fahrenheit with every thousand feet you climb. Logic would seem to indicate that the closer you get to a source of heat, the warmer you would feel. Part of the explanation is that you are not really getting nearer the Sun in any meaningful sense. The Sun is ninety-three million miles away. To move a couple of thousand feet closer to it is like taking one step closer to a bushfire in Australia when you are standing in Ohio, and expecting to smell smoke. The answer again takes us back to the question of the density of molecules in the atmosphere. Sunlight energizes atoms. It increases the rate at which they jiggle and jounce, and in their enlivened state they crash into one another, releasing heat. When you feel the sun warm on your back on a summer’s day, it’s really excited atoms you feel. The higher you climb, the fewer molecules there are, and so the fewer collisions between them."

To read more, buy the book!

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