Where Does Light Come From? Curious Light Energy Facts For Kids

Martha Martins
Feb 29, 2024 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Oct 28, 2021
Sunlight in the green forest
Age: 3-18
Read time: 9.6 Min

The main source of light, which serves the solar system that Earth is a part of, is the Sun.

Fusion is the process that powers the Sun, leading to the production of light energy and heat energy. In the Sun, heat energy and light energy are produced in the same reactions.

All the natural light on Earth originates from the Sun. In the Sun's core, atoms continue to fuse to produce light. This powers the sun, generating the light waves and electricity that make life on Earth possible. Light energy is constantly transferring and cannot be stored. The Sun's light could be referred to as electromagnetic radiation. Read on for some interesting facts about the nature of light energy.

Excited to learn with Kidadl? Then you should also read our articles on where does magma come from and where does marble come from?

Where does the sun's visible light come from?

The Earth continuously attempts to preserve an equal balance within the atmosphere. The Sun provides the energy that reaches the Earth. The percentage of the Sun's radiation which is under the range of visible wavelength is 44%. The Sun emits infrared, ultraviolet rays of different wavelengths and may seem to be white.

Mainly, sunlight has three components: visible light, with a wave length ranging from 0.4-0.8 micrometers; ultraviolet rays of 0.4 micrometers; and infrared radiation of more than 0.8 micrometers. The Sun is the main source of visible light. It produces yellow light more than any other color due to its surface temperature of 9932 F (5500 C).

Light is an oscillating wave, produced when particles get accelerated within an electromagnetic field. It is available in small amounts referred to as photons and moves like a wave.

Photons are first created in the Sun's core. This powers the Sun, generating light and giving Earth the power that makes existence possible. As the atoms of an object heat up, photons are created. This method regularly results in the creation of a photon. Fusion takes place within the sun's innermost core, while atoms merge, freeing power and light.

Intensity, propagation direction, frequency, and polarization are considered to be the primary properties of light. With the scattering of light and the photons emitted, interference favors forward propagation.

Propagation of light refers to the way that an electromagnetic wave switches its power from one factor to another. Three primary ways in which light passes from one medium to another are transmission, reflection, and refraction.

Frequency and wavelength may be associated with the rate of light. Waves with shorter wavelengths can have a higher frequency just as an extended wavelength can have a decreased frequency.

There are four essential sorts of radiation: alpha, beta, neutrons, and electromagnetic waves, which include gamma rays. They fluctuate in mass, strength and the depth to which they penetrate human beings and objects.

The first type is the alpha particle. These include protons and neutrons and are the heaviest kinds of radiation particle. The second sort of radiation is the beta particle which is an electron that isn't always connected to an atom. An electron has a small mass and a negative charge. The third type is a neutron. This is a particle that has no charge and is inside the nucleus of an atom. The last type is electromagnetic radiation, like X-rays and gamma rays. They are the most commonly known kind of radiation due to the fact that they're used broadly in scientific and medical treatments.

Where does the moon's light come from?

Sunlight shines on the Moon and the Moon reflects the light. This is what we call moonlight. The visible light helps to display the volcanoes, craters, and lava flows that are on the face of the Moon. The moon reflects only 3-12% of the sunlight which shines on it.

The perceived brightness of the Moon from the Earth relies upon the Moon's position. The Moon takes 29.5 days to complete a rotation across the Earth's orbit, leading to the differing size and brightness of the Moon.

The Earth's surface grabs most of the energy that comes from the Sun. Radiation, of about 44%, is visible in the light wavelength. Photons are the most common particles with the wave-like shape of light that come from the Sun.

Inside the Sun, a nuclear reaction goes on which creates the byproducts of heat and light photons. Additionally, this the reaction includes hydrogen atoms that fuse together and become helium atoms. Under gravitational pressure, all these processes of the reaction occur at the core or the center of the Sun due to its mass. Layman compared this process to the process of crushing hydrogen atoms to form helium.

From this fusion comes photons. At the core of the Sun, it is so dense that these particles are ejected and reflected by the atoms. This happens continuously to produce heat and light.

Colorful ocean beach sunrise with blue sky and sun rays

Where does light energy come from?

We know that light includes photons, and they're produced when atoms get heated up. It is a type of kinetic energy and travels in waveform that is visible to the human eye. It is a kind of kinetic energy and is very fast.

Light is made from photons, which are like tiny energy packets. As the atoms of an object heat up, photons are created from the motion of atoms. The warmer the object, the more photons are produced. There are many sources of light energy. Some are natural and some are produced by artificial methods. Some objects, which emit their own light, are called luminous, and objects which do not produce light instead of reflecting them are called non-luminous.

Light radiates in the form of waves. Each wave has two parts: an electric-powered element and a magnetic element. Due to this, it is called Electromagnetic Radiation. Light waves can be measured in length, height and frequency. Sunlight incorporates a non-stop distribution of wavelengths. When organized from long to short wavelengths (low to excessive frequency), they shape a part of the Electromagnetic Spectrum. Like all waves, they create power, and that power may be of excessive intensity. Light is simply an element that is visible to us.

We recognize from experiments that light acts as a wave. As such, it is understood that it has a frequency and a wavelength.

There are three measurable qualities of wave motion: amplitude, wavelength, and frequency.

The amplitude of a wave tells us approximately the depth or brightness of the light relative to a different light wave of equal wavelength.

The frequency is the number of waves that pass a point in the course of any time interval, normally one second. The wavelength of light is an essential attribute that determines its characteristics. Because the velocity of light is a constant, the wavelength and the frequency are associated with each other and are inversely dependent.

The energy consumption is about 99%, which contains a wavelength band of about 0.15 to 4 μm. This radiation makes up the near-visible ultraviolet regions along with the infrared regions present in the solar spectrum, which is about 0.5 μm maximum.

On clear days, the earth's surface receives 40% of the solar radiation which is visible within the scale of about 0.4 to 0.7 μm. However, there is 51% radiation that stays infrared within a scale of about 0.7 to 4 μm. It is speculated that the emission of total radiation by the Sun remains constant over time. Any variations usually happen due to solar phenomena like sunspots, prominence, and flares.

Where does ultraviolet light come from?

Electromagnetic radiation is all around us, though we are only able to see a few types of it. All EM radiations are made of photons that travel in a waveform with the speed of light. Most of the radiation is invisible to the human eye.

Ultraviolet light cannot be seen through human eyes, but it can reflect light when it falls on some objects, and they seem to be visible light. They have short wavelengths. The Sun is the source of the overall spectrum of ultraviolet radiation, that's generally subdivided into UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C.

We call this form of energy (expressed in joules) light energy. It is a visible form of light that is detected by the human eye and it is also used to drive photosynthesis. Chlorophyll has the most effectively absorbed wavelength. They are blue and red and are visible in this light.

It is capable of various other forms of light due to the kinetic energy it has. Light is also a type of electromagnetic radiation that is produced by hot objects like lasers, bulbs, and sunlight. Light travels in the form of waves. As a result, light energy can travel alone without any other form of matter.

Light is made from wavelengths, and each wavelength is a different color. The shades we see are an end result of wavelengths that are reflected back to our eyes.

Visible waves consist of various wavelengths. These wavelengths vary from 700-400 nm. Visible light waves are the simplest electromagnetic waves we will see. They can easily propagate in a vacuum and are created by moving electric current or charges. We see those waves as the colors of the rainbow. Each shade has a one-of-a-kind wavelength. The longest wavelength is red, and the shortest is violet. When all of the waves are visible together, they seem white. We can most effectively see things that are illuminated with the help of light. However, we can never see light itself.

The contents of our eyes that are sensitive to light are rods and cones. They react to a tiny variety of radiation on the visible spectrum. They don’t see radiation at all, but they respond to the light reflected from objects.

Light travels as a wave but not like sound waves or water waves. Nothing travels quicker than light. Its speed is 186,400 mps (299,981.72 kps) through a vacuum. Light travels easily in less-dense mediums.

English physicist Sir Isaac Newton, known for his Law of Universal Gravitation, discovered light energy. He found out that light had a frequency. He concluded this when he did an experiment, where he used a prism to break up light into its constituent colors. Nevertheless, he came up with the idea that light was a particle due to the fact that the outer edge of the shadows it created became extraordinarily sharp and clear.

Gamma rays are much like visible light, however, they have a lot more energy. Gamma rays are radiation that is dangerous for the whole body. They can penetrate through the body very easily. They can also penetrate through pores and skin and clothing, whereas alpha and beta particles can be prevented. Though absorption of beta rays sometimes causes beta burns, gamma rays are the most harmful. Gamma rays have a lot of penetrating energy and numerous inches of a dense fabric like lead, or maybe some meters of concrete, can be required to prevent them from penetrating something. Gamma rays cause ionization that harms tissue and DNA. Absorption of these harmful radiations may lead to a reduction in the number of white blood cells in the human body. The harmful rays are absorbed by the ozone layer present in the atmosphere.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for where does light come from-curious light energy facts for kids, then why not take a look at curious facts: what is beef brisket? Where does brisket come from?, or where do tomato worms come from? How to get rid of tomato hornworms?

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

Read full bio >