Compare that to Earth, where the air around you stays warm even if you’re in the shade—and even, in some seasons, in the dark of night. That’s because heat travels throughout our beautiful blue planet by three methods instead of just one: conduction, convection, and radiation. When the sun’s radiation hits and warms up molecules in our atmosphere, they pass that extra energy to the molecules around them. Those molecules then bump into and heat up their own neighbors. This heat transfer from molecule to molecule is called conduction, and it’s a chain reaction that warms areas outside of the sun’s path.