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  Weekly Feature (May 21, 2006)

Summer Sun


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 UV Index and Sun Protection (Canadian Government)


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Victoria Day

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