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Many people are surprised that they can become sunburned on a cloudy day. While it is true that most clouds block at least some of the UV radiation from the sun, the amount that is blocked depends on the type of cloud and the amount of cloud cover. Small breaks in clouds can also let brief bursts of UV radiation through. But even more surprising is that some clouds can actually increase the amount of UV radiation on the ground by reflecting and refracting the sun’s rays.
This project measures the strength of solar UV radiation reaching the earth’s surface after passing through different types of clouds.
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