The Sun


The amazing sun
Jalal Hameed Bhatti, via Flickr

Adam Navis and Liz Waid look at the sun. Why is it so important to us? How does it affect us?

Transcript


Voice 1

Welcome to Spotlight. I'm Adam Navis.

Voice 2

And I'm Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1

Imagine a world where the sun never sets. Children can laugh and play in the streets all through the night. Fishermen enjoy 24 hours of daylight on the open sea. To get any sleep, people must block all the light from their windows.

Voice 2

Now imagine a world with only darkness. Even in the middle of the day, the sun does not shine. The only light comes from the moon and the stars in the black sky. Cars must drive with their lights on all the time. When people awake in the morning, it looks like the middle of the night.

Voice 1

This is the situation for people who live above the Arctic Circle. The sun clearly influences their lives. This includes people in northern Russia, Canada, Alaska and Greenland. For part of the year they cannot see the sun. And part of the year the sun never disappears.

Voice 2

But do you ever think about the sun? All life depends on the power of the sun. Year after year, the sun warms the earth, gives us light, builds life on our planet, and even keeps us healthy. Today's Spotlight is on the sun and its place in our lives.

Voice 1

Ancient cultures knew that the sun was important. Many cultures worshipped the sun as a god. Here is a part from an ancient Egyptian song to the sun

Voice 3

"You are beautiful, in the sky, Oh living Sun, beginning of life. When you rise in the east, you fill every land, with your beauty. Bright is the earth when you rise in the east. When you shine by day, you drive away the darkness. You feed every plant. When you rise, they live. They grow because of you. You make the seasons, in order to create all your work. Winter to bring them cold. Summer brings heat, that they may feel you."

Voice 2

Other cultures also knew that they depended on the sun for their food to grow. But they did not think the sun was a God. Early Christians believed that the sun gave glory to God. Here is a part of the Bible.

Voice 3

"Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him all his angels; praise him, all his hosts! Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!"

Voice 1

Whatever early people thought about the sun, they did not know much about it. But as people began to use science they learned more about the sun. In 1543, Nicholas Copernicus demonstrated that the earth travels around the sun. One hundred years later, scientists estimated the distance to the sun. And as recently as 1904, a man named Ernest Rutherford showed how the sun produced such large amounts of heat. These people discovered that the sun is a star like all the other stars in the sky. However, for our planet, it is a very special star.

Voice 2

The earth is 150 million kilometers from the sun. Here is one way to imagine this great distance. Imagine that you are standing on the sun. Your friends are on the earth. If they turned on a light, it would take eight minutes for you to see it! But this is the perfect distance for the earth to use the sun's heat.

Voice 1

The temperature of the sun is around 6,000 degrees Celsius at its surface, and 15 million degrees at its centre! If the earth were any closer, we would burn. But if the earth were any further away, we would freeze. And yet, the sun is more than a big heater.

Voice 2

The sun also helps provide us with fresh air. The sun heats the oceans. Then the water heats the air. The changing air temperatures create most of the world's wind. Wind moves air to different places so plants can remove carbon dioxide from the air and create oxygen.

Voice 1

But the sun also affects plants directly. The sun makes plants grow through the process of photosynthesis. Plants can change light from the sun into energy. They use the energy to grow bigger and stronger. All life on earth depends on plants. Without the sun, we could not grow food for ourselves or for our animals.

Voice 2

Plants are not the only things who capture the power of the sun. Human can turn sunlight into electricity with solar cells. A solar cell collects the power of the sun and stores it. Then, this power can be used to run anything that uses electricity: cars, computers, or homes.

Voice 1

Besides all these amazing things, the sun also helps us to do something very simple, but needed. Without the sun, we would not be able to see anything!

Voice 2

The sun also helps people to be healthy and strong. It acts as a natural cleaner for our skin. The sun can help kill harmful bacteria that live on our skin. And the sun helps our bodies produce vitamin D. People need vitamin D to have strong bones.

Voice 1

The sun can also improve our mental health. In places where the sun does not shine, people can suffer from seasonal affective disorder. This is a kind of depression. People with season affective disorder do not have energy and feel sad. They are treated by sitting near a special light. But nothing is as good as being in real sunlight. Sunlight can help prevent depression and keep people happy. When the sun is shining, people have more hope about the future.

Voice 2

The sun does many other things as well. It helps us tell time. It controls the where and when animals travel. The sun's gravity keeps the planet in orbit. It even lets us see at night. This is because the sun shines on the moon and the moon sends the light down to the earth. The sun makes the colors of a rainbow after it rains. And it paints the sky during a sunset.

Voice 1

There are many things we still do not know about the sun. But the more we learn about the sun, the more we can thank God for giving us this wonderful gift.

Voice 2

This program was written by Sara DeKoster and Adam Navis. The voices you heard were from the United States. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. Computer users can hear our programs, read our scripts, and see our word list on our website at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called "The Sun."

Voice 1

If you have a comment or question for Spotlight you can email us. Our email address is radio@english.net. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Thank you for listening. Goodbye!

Question:

What do you like to do in the sun?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
datvimaru50
said on August 20, 2010

“The sun can also improve our mental health. In places where the sun does not shine, people can suffer from seasonal affective disorder. This is a kind of depression. People with season affective disorder do not have energy and feel sad. They are treated by sitting near a special light. But nothing is as good as being in real sunlight. Sunlight can help prevent depression and keep people happy. When the sun is shining, people have more hope about the future.“_spotlight

Avatar Spotlight
datvimaru50
said on August 20, 2010

Tanhungie Thitue is the sun of my life. She came to me as the sunlight came to the earth. She spent time with me. She hang out with me. She’s always beside me whenever I felt depressed. With a special voice and a hopeful attitude, she raised me up.I lived with her care as a plant lives and grows up in the sunlight. My life has changed a lot since I met her. Now I am always hopeful, happy and no longer hate myself. She filled my heart with lots of sunlight. She heated it and make it want to beat. She is my inspiration!

Avatar Spotlight
datvimaru50
said on August 20, 2010

I am writing imagining how would my life be without you. Some days in the future you maybe no longer beside me. A plant can be alive without real sunlight, and me too. But that plant will not be healthy, it will be weak and grow up more slowly than normally it does. I maybe alive but live without soul. I will just be a fool. I will not be able to use one hundred percents of my power. Without you, I will just have my own materials. What will happen to a unhealthy a plant without being taken care of? Its power will reduce day by day and die soon. I know it for sure that I will the same to that tree.

Avatar Spotlight
datvimaru50
said on August 20, 2010

when you see these lines, you will know that how important you have been to me. Please don’t let me be the same to that plant. Be the sun always provides me with the powerful sunlight. I need you, I love you!

Avatar Spotlight
funtimes
said on September 24, 2012

Sun ray is the best source for Vitamin “D” which necessary for body bones.

a valuable topic
thanks

Avatar Spotlight
juan Reyes
said on September 24, 2012

This is a amazing article, I think it make me imaging several things because without sun we all be so sad, sun give us live and happiness. thank for this beautiful program.

Avatar Spotlight
Dela
said on October 20, 2012

Withaut the sun couldn’t be life neither for human nor the animals and the plants. We really must thank God for creation of this amazing miracle. Thanks for an article !

Avatar Spotlight
huyquoc
said on June 27, 2016

I never believe without the sun, people can live and do something.
For Me without the Sun everyday , i thing i sleep and never wake up.

Kaleb Kolaibi's avatar
Kaleb Kolaibi
said on June 30, 2016

The sun is important for life on the earth for human, animals and plants and not life without sun.
Personally I dont liKe sun because I dont like hot and it causes me the skin allergy. Therefore I alwyas avoid sitting or walking ai the sun times.
God bless you

Avatar Spotlight
kenhieuloilam
said on June 30, 2016

The sun, the moon and the stars shine. We have day and night. We work and rest. The life has joys and difficulties. The sun rises and sets. Trees grow, make blossom and fruit. Animals go looking for food and come back to resting place. There are start and finish. The sun rises and sets. We start work. We finish a working day. We entirely rest when we finish our life journey.

Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on July 05, 2016

From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (Severino Ramos)
To: spotlight programme
Subject: answer to the question above
Date: Tuesday 05, July 2016
São Paulo SP Brazil

Dear Liz Waid, Sara Dekoster, and Adam Navis:

First of all, I want to thank you to bring us readers and learners of English more one great article. Thanks!
In the sun, I like to go out to walk. But when I lived in Pernambuco countryside in the sun, I used to go to the beach with my sibling and friends. It was wonderful.
I like so much the sun. Here in São Paulo city where I live now, The Atlantic Ocean and beach are nearby my house.
However, I almost never go to the beach because I am always busy.
I like all the seasons of the year and each one of them has a sacred and important function in the world.
So, in the complete and important article in which you brought us readers and learners of English you mentioned all the sacred functions of the sun. Thanks!

Yours regards,
Severino Ramos
Brazil

Avatar Spotlight
Vitalya
said on August 27, 2016

Are you very pleased to learn English ! Thanks you))