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solar constant

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noun
  1. the average rate at which radiant energy is received from the sun by the earth, equal to 1.94 small calories per minute per square centimeter of area perpendicular to the sun's rays, measured at a point outside the earth's atmosphere when the earth is at its mean distance from the sun.
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Origin of solar constant

First recorded in 1865–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for solar constant

solar constant

noun
  1. the rate at which the sun's energy is received per unit area at the top of the earth's atmosphere when the sun is at its mean distance from the earth and atmospheric absorption has been corrected for. Its value is 1367 watts per square metre
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

solar constant in Science

solar constant

  1. The average amount of solar radiation received by the Earth's atmosphere, per unit area, when the Earth is at its mean distance from the Sun. It is equal to 1370 watts per square meter. Solar radiation varies with the Earth's distance from the Sun and with the appearance or decay of sunspots.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.