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- But the solar constant - the amount of sunlight received each second - is carefully monitored by spacecraft, and we know the sun's output is much too steady to be changing the temperature of Pluto.
- The heat shield will reach temperatures of up to 1800°C as it is exposed to energies 1000 times more intense than the solar constant.
- The solar constant is 1.37 kW m - 2, but the 24-hour average at the top of the atmosphere is of course much lower, and varies widely by geographic latitude and time of year.
- The solar constant isn't constant.
- Solar sails can be used to adjust the earth's solar constant (in effect making it a variable that can be controlled).