What Are the Types of Radiation Given Off by the Sun?

The types of radiation given off by the sun include both infrared rays, visible light and ultraviolet rays. All of these rays, or types of radiation, are part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Sunlight is the visible and most common type of radiation that is given off by the sun. Most people are also familiar with ultraviolet, or UV, rays. These are the rays that can cause sun damage to a person’s skin in the form of sunburn. While a person cannot detect the sun’s UV rays, he or she can detect the infrared rays via the sensation of heat.

There are other, perhaps less commonly known, types of radiation that the sun emits:

  • Gamma rays – these are most often found in the core of the sun, during fusion. These rays lose frequency as they move towards the surface.
  • X-rays – X-rays are emitted by the sun during solar flares.
  • Visible light – visible light are radiation waves that are in the frequency range easily seen by the naked eye. Different wavelengths in the visible light spectrum make up different colors.
  • Microwaves – microwave radiation waves emitted by the sun are primarily absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Radio waves – these waves have the longest wavelengths, and the sun is the brightest source of radio waves.