Under a scorching sun, you can squint while looking towards the sun and open your eyes. Pretty sure it’s the unhealthiest thing in the world to do but it is fairly achievable. The moment you look away you will end up with a black dot imagining the size of the sun in your vision for a while.

Now let’s suppose you are welding the moment you strike that arc, you will feel a physical jolt shoot through your whole body. It is the intensity of the photons hitting your optic nerve. It is a very undesirable experience so don’t try it. When you look away you will not see a black dot the size of the arc, rather the black dot will encompass the whole of your vision and will stay for a few minutes at least.

How intense is a welding arc compared to the sun

Here’s another example of how intense a welding arc is compared to the sun. You can actually sunburn your eyeballs with too much radiation exposure which is very very painful. We are very fair from the sun, the welding arc is a foot away from the welder, but the sun is some 93 million miles away.

Welding arcs are bright enough to instantly damage naked eyes, while the sun is at a tremendous distance from the earth so it doesn’t instantly cause damage to the eyes. Moreover, the millions of miles plus atmosphere and water vapor in the air has greatly weakened its brightness.

If the Earth does not have atmospheric layers, the sun’s rays would cook us to death. Welding arc can give you a nasty sunburn, but it doesn’t exactly cook you to death. Thereby, we are never close to the sun like that of a welding torch. Even if we reached near to the sun, we can’t really use the shades that we use for a welding torch. 

Welding arc is small but very very intense. Maybe we need to reach for the atomic scales as there’s a lot of math involved!