The Big Idea - the sun *puts on sunnies*
This is Inti, made by Viracocha, the deity of all creation. Inti had two suns with… oh no…his sister. He and his sister (the Moon goddess) were/are (are they still there if their religion hasn’t stayed popular?) benevolent gods and served by rainbows (go and get me a cup of tea and a biscuit, Rainbow, and don’t drop it like last time or I’ll have your guts for garters!!!). Their radiant court was also served by Venus and a collection of stars called Pleiades. I mean…quite swag, except for the whole marrying his sister (the Moon) thing, though the Hapsburgs of Austria-Hungary married cousins all the time and that had no massive consequences at all… EXCEPT FOR THOSE MASSIVE CHINS!!! Enough about chins. Think about how normalised the Incan depiction of the Sun god/deity is. The sun essentially gets married, has children, and has servants. What does that sound like? *drumroll* Like a very, very, incredibly human king or queen. We humans humanised and personified our gods to be JUST like us! Take the Christian god. What appearance does THAT god take? *drumroll* Old dude with a beard, right? Me, too. The sun, before the transcendence of Christianity, Islam, and other major religions, was IT. It was the big dude in the sky. Almost every ancient religion had a sun god.
Life 6CO2 + 6H2O → C6H12O6 + 6O2
Ahem….*cough*...wonderful! Oh…sorry. That’s the chemical equation for photosynthesis - the only reason you’re even alive! Every food chain starts from the sun’s radiation hurtling through space. It takes 8.3 minutes to travel here (sunlight can travel around the Earth 7 times in a second btw). When the radiation (moving energy) reaches plants, they use 6 Carbon dioxide molecules 6CO2 and 6 water molecules 6H2O react with the energy absorbed by chlorophyll in the leaves (that green stuff!). The resulting chemical reaction produces C6H12O6 glucose molecules and 6 oxygen molecules 6O2. The oxygen gets released into the atmosphere and we greedily breathe it.
The glucose (sugar) is used by the plant to grow and provide food for primary consumers like cows, who we then eat as secondary consumers (SAVE THE COWS!). Still with me? Therefore, the sun…and photosynthesis is pretty much EVERYTHING to us. Without it, we’re…well, there is no us. The sun is responsible for ALL life on Earth.
Since time immemorial, the sun has been dying. Me, too. From the moment I was born, the clock started on my lifespan on Earth as a functional being. The sun will die in 10 billion years, by which point, my prized, plastic sunglasses will have disintegrated into dust, and thus, even if I was still alive 10 billion years from now, frozen in a freezer next to fish fingers, the sun’s radiant sun….oh….I forgot. It’ll swallow Earth long before that! The Sun will engulf Earth in 7.59 billion years. Drat!
I had so many plans! Better eat those fish fingers now. It’s not just our sun, you see. EVERY SINGLE SUN IN THE UNIVERSE WILL DIE. I know. I hate to be the harbinger of terrible news, but that’s the reality. Every star will be extinguished as its gaseous fuel is burned up. The universe will be dark and cold. A perpetual night will descend on the universe. So, we’ve got that to look forward to, eh?
Pretty pitiful news so far. We’ll die. Everything will die. Yet, we’re here now and we have a magnificent planet. I mean, it’s really terrific. A peach! While we’re able, why not get some of that sunlight on sale outside. It’s yours for the very low price of nothing forever (relatively - please read the previous paragraph).
The sun blazes on every day and gives us a near unlimited supply of energy. So, why on Earth are we burning coal, roasting oil, and splitting atoms to generate energy? The sun provides abundance to the extreme. Let’s use some of it. Let’s enjoy it while it races across the sky every day.