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The amount of ultraviolet radiation reaching the surface is affected by the time of day and the season of the year. The higher the sun is in the sky the shorter the course of ultraviolet radiation - this means there is more ultraviolet radiation at lunchtime than at night. There is more in summer than in winter.

The geographic location also has an effect on the level of ultraviolet radiation. The closer you are to the equator the more ultraviolet radiation you will experience as you are closer to the sun.

As you go up a mountain the amount of ultraviolet radiation increases as the atmosphere becomes thinner.

Ultraviolet is reflected by different surfaces

Ultraviolet radiation can reach you directly or indirectly by reflecting off other surfaces. Hard, smooth and shiny surfaces such as concrete, sand or snow reflect ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet radiation also is scattered by water droplets and dust in the atmosphere.