Summer is on its way,
bringing with it lots of good weather. The total number of hours of sunshine
we receive, in the absence of obscuring clouds, mist, fog, dust or terrain,
depends on latitude. At the 49th parallel, Canada could receive
4479 hours of sunlight annually. The sunniest places in Canada are the
southern Prairies, with central British Columbia, the remaining Prairies,
and southern Ontario being only slightly less behind.
The amazing sun
provides us with the bright, warm days we enjoy. The sun consists of
different layers. Its centre, or core, is in a gaseous state. The sunlight
we see is emitted by the photosphere. The chromosphere appears as a red
circle around the sun due to the absence of hydrogen and the outermost
layer, or corona, is only visible during an eclipse.
The sun sends
ultraviolet (UV) rays to Earth. UV rays are a form of invisible, high-energy
light. We use the UV index as a measure of the intensity of the sunís UV
radiation in the sunburning spectrum. The UV ratings range from low to
extreme. As the index increases, the sunís rays can do more harm to the
skin, eyes and immune system, therefore, more precautions need to be taken
to protect ourselves from the harmful rays.
Some sun protection
tips include covering your skin with hats, shoes, long pants, and
long-sleeved shirts. Protect your eyes with UV rated sunglasses, and donít
forget to use a sunscreen that blocks both UV-B and UV-A rays and has an SPF
(sun protection factor) of 15 or more.
To find out more about
the UV index, how the UV index forecast is calculated, sun protection, the
sun, and more go to
Index and Sun Protection (Canadian Government)
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