The amount of sunlight any one individual receives tends to be something that we overlook more often than not and even take advantage of despite the fact that it's pretty essential to life in general. All living things need the heat of the sun to survive. But just how strong is the sunlight we receive in Wyoming compared to other states?

There's plenty of benefits we get from sunlight besides just the heat for the entire planet that's necessary for survival. We also get plenty of Vitamin D from sunlight which is great for bone health. It's also a key source in preventing depression and we all know how important mental health is.

Luckily, our atmosphere is what absorbs so much of the immediate solar energy that comes from the sun. All of us would be in extreme trouble is this were not the case. The average intensity of solar energy per square meter is 1,360 watts. The average microwave is 1,000 watts and the average lightbulb ranges from 40 to 100 watts, so this gives you an idea of how important our atmosphere is in absorbing all that solar energy before it hits us. But some states get a stronger sunlight than others thanks to the Earth's sphere shape (sorry flat-earthers, but you're horribly wrong). So how strong is the sunlight hitting Wyoming?

Since solar energy from the sun is measured in 'joules', first, it's important to note that one joule equals one watt of power radiated or dissipated for one second over the earth’s surface. According to list from the CDC's last list that measured joules per square meter that each state was receiving, Wyoming receives the 19th strongest sunlight of any state. Some quick statistics for our state show that:

> Annual avg. daily sunlight: 2,794 J/m2
> 10-yr. change in avg. daily sunlight: +2.1% (9th smallest)
> Avg. daily sunlight compared to sunniest state: 25.1% less

The average daily sunlight is in 'joules per square meter' in case that's confusing. We also receive a little over 25% less sunlight than Arizona, which receives the most and strongest sunlight of all states. To our south, Colorado receives just 5.2% less sunlight than Arizona. It showed up as receiving the 5th most sunlight in the country. Maine and North Dakota receive the least sunlight of any states (this list excludes Alaska and Hawaii).

So it seems that we get a decent amount of sun in Wyoming. Not bad, it could definitely be a lot worse. We'll take it. I guess that's something that helps us have the luxury of experiencing all four seasons, unlike lots of other states.

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