Almost the entire amount of light generated by the Sun that reaches Earth can be categorized into two main forms: direct sunlight and reflected sunlight.
- Direct Sunlight: The Sun emits an enormous amount of energy in the form of light and other electromagnetic radiation. About 100% of this energy reaches Earth in the form of direct sunlight. This portion of sunlight directly travels from the Sun to the Earth without any interruption.
- Reflected Sunlight: Some of the sunlight that reaches Earth is reflected back into space by various objects and surfaces on the Earth’s surface. This includes sunlight that is reflected by the Earth’s surface, clouds, oceans, and other objects. The exact fraction of reflected sunlight can vary, but on average, approximately 30% of the sunlight that reaches Earth is reflected back into space.
So, to answer your question, approximately 70% of the Sun’s light reaches Earth in any form (direct or reflected). The remaining 30% is reflected back into space, and this fraction is sometimes referred to as Earth’s albedo.