Do the Sun’s rays get further apart from each other over distance? © Getty Images

Do the Sun’s rays get further apart from each other over distance?

A physicist explains what happens to light as it travels across the Solar System.

Ah… if by the Sun’s rays you mean the photons it emits then, due to their quantum nature, it isn’t actually possible to define their location (nor the distance between them) in a traditional sense. Furthermore, because photons are ‘bosons’, they can’t even be regarded as having separate identities.

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However, scientifically, what we can do is talk about the intensity of sunlight at the Sun’s surface compared to its intensity at Earth (which is lesser by a factor of about 46,000).

Asked by: Jeff Slee

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