Sunscreen, Wolfram|Alpha, and Facts: The Ultimate Beach Essentials

March 29, 2011
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The Wolfram|Alpha Team
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Spring has officially sprung, and here in the Midwest, we’re eagerly ice picking our way out of hibernation for some fun in the Sun! Some of us are enjoying the extended daylight hours, and others are jetting off to tropical spring break destinations.

While we were nestled by our office heaters, drinking Swiss Miss, and dreaming of the bright sunshine, we developed a few new tools in Wolfram|Alpha that give you facts on how to keep your skin healthy while enjoying the Sun. To get started, simply query “time to sunburn”. This query allows you to calculate how long your skin can be exposed to the Sun without burning based on your skin type, location, time, the level of Sun protection factor (SPF) you might be using, and how long you stay in the Sun. You can also select “UV index” for results based on the UV index, your skin type, SPF, and time in the Sun.

Time to sunburn

The personalized results show how long you can stay in the Sun before you’re likely to burn based on the factors you reported, a Sun protection advisory recommending an SPF level, and a UV forecast for your location.

Sunburn information

Wolfram|Alpha provides information on the UV levels for a five-day period that includes the past 24 hours. For example, the query “UV forecast Santa Monica California March 30 2pm” will provide you with the predicted UV index, a UV index forecast map that you can manipulate by date and time, the typical time to sunburn based on skin type and protection levels, and a Sun protection advisory.

UV forecast Santa Monica California March 30 2pm

As a bonus, check out our handy widget to easily calculate how long it will take you to get a sunburn:

You can access these handy tools on the go with the Wolfram|Alpha mobile app. So before you head out to enjoy the bright sunshine, remember sunscreen, Wolfram|Alpha, and facts!

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