It all begins with deadly rays in the center of the sun. Where would you tan faster: on an ocean beach, or on a mountaintop? If you said the mountaintop, you would be right, although you might also get a little cold. You see, the rays of the sun that cause us to tan (and burn!) can be twice as strong at high altitudes. This is because there is less air to block them as they fight their way through. We need a certain amount of these ultraviolet rays, but too many can be harmful. And so earth's atmosphere provides an important service to humanity, shielding us from harsh radiation.
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