Deep space observations of sun glint over oceans
Links to Fileshttps://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20180005597
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Work14 pages
presentations (communicative events)
Citation of Original PublicationMarshak, A., T. Várnai, and A. Kostinski (2017), Terrestrial glint seen from deep space: Oriented ice crystals detected from the Lagrangian point, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, doi:10.1002/ 2017GL073248.
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This work was written as part of one of the author's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.
Public Domain Mark 1.0
Subjectsdeep space observations
bright flashes of light
oriented ice crystals
search for habitable exoplanets
Every hour or two, the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) onboard the DSCOVR satellite provides unique full-color images of the sunlit side of the Earth from the L1 Lagrangian point, which is four times farther the Moon. Casual glances at such images often reveal bright colorful spots that stand out markedly from their surroundings. Such spots often appear not only over ocean but also over land. Tracking the colorful spots using an automated image analysis algorithm reveals that they are caused by specular reflection of sunlight, sometimes from ocean surfaces and other times from clouds containing horizontally oriented ice crystals. The presented study characterizes these spots in terms of prevalence, location, color, and brightness, and provides insights into the factors that lead to their appearance.
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