Monday, October 17, 2011

Oh my lovely sunshine.

Just today my female colleague was complaining about the scorching sun around 1pm. Well, I didn't quite like the afternoon sun as well, but I told her, enjoy it as the sun gives us vitamin D. She told me that the afternoon sun was bad. And so came the qns when is the sun good then? She replied, "Morning! and Evening!". Then there was.... this post..... I mean, I thought to myself, isn't the sun the same sun, morning, day or evening?

Checking out Google, it proved to be a fairly difficult task to debunk this so-called "myth". Well, from wikianswers, it would seem that the sun is safe until 10am, after which it becomes bad for health and causes burns as well as the feared skin cancer. The sun is safer after 4pm. Well, at least this was what was quoted. One source, statistically, that's an insignificant result. Afterall, there's no scientific proof to prove that, or is there?


Hmm... it would seem that the sun does play an important factor in gardening. Perhaps by examining the reasons and rationale behind them, we can derive with a more "definite" answer. As quoted from a forum, and since I'm lazy to type everything down again, here's what's being said about the morning, mid and evening sun.

"Morning sun side - sunflower / 'fake' dill / 'real' dill / local lavender / moneyplant / mother
-in-law tongue / 1 hanging petunia / mint / air plant

Under the shade of morning sun - all the ferns / small asparagus (either hang high high or behind a shadow or very short exposure of the light)

Mid way (bright area no direct sunlight, - money plant / mint / all 'in the process of propagation plant' eg HL de mullberry temporary stays here sometimes a bit of west sun near the wall for - wondering jew / spider plant / asparagus / aloe / petunia + 1 unknown plant

Evening sun - periwrinkle / roselle (i think so) / pandan plant / mosquitoe plant + i unknown plant / petunia"

Not sure how accurate this info is, but I guess there's no smoke without fire.


When I searched for "morning sun vs evening sun scientific proof" all I got from Google was the existence of God. Side tracking a little, this "sun" thing made me reminiscence about a conversation I had with a couple of my close friends when I visited my best pal's new house. We were talking about new houses, and about whether the house gets any morning or evening sun, and started discussing a bit about Fengshui. I'm not too sure about it, but from what they told me, the general consensus is that there's 2 schools of thought for Fengshui.

Vaguely put, one is more on the overall direction, the other is about the direction in which the sun comes in from. Where the sun comes in strongest, that's the "front" door (even though it may be the balcony). Confused? Don't be, cos that's the best way I can structure my explanation since I'm fairly uncertain myself. Shan't "research" about Fengshui for now... cos I know it's open a door I can't close shut behind me once I do.

Well, from my astronomy classes back in University, I knew that Auroras or Northern lights are actually caused by the harmful solar flares or solar wind from the sun which hits the thermosphere (high altitude atmosphere). Ie. Beauty it is true indeed, as northern lights are evidence of our Earth protecting its inhabitants from the harm. It's almost like the Earth is a round spartan holding an invisible shield and blocking off any fire spears hurled at it.

It's sad that the sun will die in 5.2 billion years from now, since it's life span is only 10 billion years and 4.8 billion years have already passed. Though we would be dead by then, the thought is indeed shuddering. One can imagine what will become of our godzillionth generation.

Ok, I think I might have side tracked a little too much here. Any more of this and one would think my religion is Sun-ism. While there might not have scientific or clinical evidence out there which compares and measures the effects of the morning, midday and evening sun, one can only use general knowledge to solve this "mystery".

We all know for a fact that the afternoon sun is more hotter than the morning or evening sun. This is because the sun is higher up in the sky and there's nothing to block off it's crazy UV radiation. We know that the sunrise and sunset is caused by the atmospheric refraction of the sunrays as it rises above or below the horizon. You can find out more about the differences between dust, dawn and what twilight even means from the link: or you can just figure it out from the picture I ripped off from wikipedia.

Bottomline is, I assume, that it's similar to taking a flash light and shining it directly into the eyes of someone as opposed to using your body to shield off some light and let the remaining light sip through at an angle of your body. Of course the latter would be less glaring for the other party. Works in the same concept I believe, and while the amount of sunlight might not totally equal the magnitude of UV radiation, I believe there's still some slight correlation between them. Less light will result in less UV radiation. No light from sun will mean that there is no UV radiation (I think), since it's hard to imagine UV radiation bouncing off our skins at night. Cos many have said that even though it's a cloudy day, one is exposed to UV radiation... well, that makes sense since there's light from the sun.

So, in summary, while the Sun is mostly good for health, I can only assume that it's true... that the sun is more hazardous to our body midday as opposed to the morning or evening sun due to its intensity and position in the sky. Though there's no scientific evidence to show this, I believe common sense wouldn't fail us, or me here. However, this is only true to humans. Skin cancer and all that sh**. Can't give the same conclusion for animals since there's always an exception... plants are proof of that.

Either way, I love you Sun. It is in your presence that keeps me awake, that makes me feel alive. There's a scientific explanation for this of course. About rhodopsin, of how it's responsible for both the formation of the photoreceptor cells (found in our eyes) in the presence of light. It is this that makes us feel more awake in the day. Well, I'm sure you're aware that if one is exposed to to prolonged periods of darkness, one will gradually become blind. (Actually, I don't even know if that's a myth or not... too many things to find given this short amount of time!!) Hmm, then come another question... if that is true, then is being exposed to too much daylight one of the causes of night blindness? Night blindness is known to either exist from birth, or caused by injury or malnutrition. Perhaps, too much rhodopsin causes a chemical adaption which results in night blindness as well? Would a sporty person be more likely to suffer from mild night blindness as opposed to a "normal" person?

I could keep rattling on, but I shall end off with this stay-home message. We cannot blame the sun for the bad it does to us, we cannot thank the sun for all the good it has given to us. Because the sun is merely just being itself. The sun is simply a ball of ferocious ball suspended in space, and waiting for time to claim it's life. It is like us humans, we cannot be blamed or be gratified for merely existing. Yet as we humans can be appreciated for our presence, we too can appreciate the sun for it's presence. Oh my lovely, sunshine...

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