Sunlight

These 7 Foods Contain Way More Vitamin D Than You Think!

Vitamin D, or as it also known the “sunshine vitamin”, is very important for our health and for keeping our energy levels high. This vitamin is vital for calcium absorption and promoting bone growth. It can also help in regulating your immune system, blood pressure, weight loss and fighting depression. In addition, it can also help fight various diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and heart disease.

As its other name suggests, we get vitamin D when we are exposed to the sunlight. But what happens if you spend more time indoors or live in a place with little sunlight? Your body needs enough vitamin D, and so you need to include more vitamin D rich foods in your diet.

Why is vitamin D so important?

One of the most important functions of vitamin D is to help our bones stay strong. As National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases explains, we need vitamin D in order to absorb calcium, and without having enough vitamin D to absorb calcium, our bones become soft and fragile.1

Several studies confirm its multiple benefits, such as decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease,2 improving the symptoms of depression,3 and it even helps decrease the risk of multiple sclerosis.4

Studies have indicated that vitamin D deficiency may cause several serious conditions. A study published in the Neurology journal discovered that not having enough vitamin D can increase the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.5 Another study published in Clinical Cancer Research indicates there is a link between vitamin D deficiency and prostate cancer.6

Which foods you should consume to get enough vitamin D?

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements gives recommendations of how much vitamin D you should take:7

  • Children from ages 0-12 400 IU
  • Children from ages 1-13 600 IU
  • Teenagers from ages 14-18 600 IU
  • Adults from ages 19-70 600 IU
  • Adults above the ages…

Read up on solar eclipses before this year’s big event

Solar Eclipse in 2012
SUN BLOCK A total solar eclipse (one shown from 2012) is one of nature’s most awesome spectacles. In advance of one that will sweep across the United States in August, publishers are releasing a spate of new solar eclipse books.

In August, the United States will experience its first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in nearly a century. Over the course of an hour and a half, the moon’s narrow shadow will slice across 12 states, from Oregon to South Carolina (SN: 8/20/16, p. 14). As many as 200 million people are expected to travel to spots where they can view the spectacle, in what could become one of the most watched eclipses in history. Excitement is building, hence the flurry of new books about the science, history and cultural significance of what is arguably one of Earth’s most awesome celestial phenomena.

Total solar eclipses happen when the moon passes in front of the sun as seen from Earth, and the moon blocks the entire face of the sun. This event also blocks sunlight that would otherwise scatter off the molecules in our atmosphere, reducing a source of glare and so allowing an unfettered view of the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona. Total solar eclipses arise from a fluke of geometry that occurs nowhere else in the solar system, astronomer Anthony Aveni explains in In the Shadow of the Moon. Only Earth has a moon that appears, from the planet’s viewpoint, to fit so neatly over the sun — a consequence of the fact that the sun is a whopping 400 times as large as the moon but also 400 times farther away. Moons orbiting other planets are either too small to fully cover the sun’s face or are so large that they fully block any view of the corona.

In fact, the fluke of geometry is also a fluke of history: Because the moon’s orbit drifts about four centimeters farther from Earth each year, there will come a time when the moon will no longer appear to cover the sun, notes planetary scientist John Dvorak in Mask of the Sun. We already get a preview of that distant day: When the moon…

Watch David Lynch’s (Mostly Straightforward) Weather Reports

David Lynch, the visionary director of surreal films such as Mulholland Drive and Eraserhead, has some perfectly offbeat hobbies. He records dance music. He designs night clubs. He makes furniture. He is a crusader for transcendental meditation. But weirdest of all just may be his predilection for weather reporting.

In the mid-2000s, Lynch enjoyed sitting at his desk at home in Los Angeles and describing the weather, and regularly put videos of his…

New tech harvests drinking water from (relatively) dry air using only sunlight

water from air prototype converter
WATER FROM AIR This prototype device captures water from air. Then, when exposed to sunlight, the black-painted layer (top) heats up and releases captured moisture as vapor into a container. A condenser then cools the vapor, converting the water to liquid form.

A new device the size of a coffee mug can generate drinkable water from desert air using nothing but sunlight.

“With this device, you can harvest the equivalent of a Coke can’s worth of water in an hour,” says cocreator Omar Yaghi, a chemist at the University of California, Berkeley. “That’s about how much water a person needs to survive in the desert.”

Though that may not sound like much, its designers say the current device is just a prototype. But the technology could be scaled up to supply fresh water to some of the most parched and remote regions of the globe, such as the Middle East and North Africa, they say.

Previous attempts at low-energy water collection struggled to function below 50 percent relative humidity (roughly the average afternoon humidity of Augusta, Ga.). Thanks to a special material, the new device pulled water from air with as low as 20 percent relative humidity, Yaghi and colleagues report online April 13 in Science. That’s like conjuring water in Las Vegas, where the average afternoon relative humidity is 21 percent.

Drinking water supplies can’t keep up with the rising demands of a growing human population, and shifts in rainfall caused by climate…

A slowdown at the sun’s surface explained

The Sun
SOLAR SLOWDOWN The sun’s surface rotates more slowly than its inner layers. Scientists now have an explanation: Photons leaving the sun could carry angular momentum away, slowing the top layer’s spin.

Never underestimate the power of a little sunlight.

Light particles, or photons, emitted from the sun’s surface, could explain a long-standing solar mystery — why the sun’s outermost layers rotate more slowly than its core.

Because the sun isn’t a solid ball, regions at different depths or latitudes rotate at different rates. For decades, scientists have wondered why the outer 5 percent of the…