Bright places on Earth

Being bright has many meaning. Many things can be bright and being so in different ways. A person can be called bright if s/he is smart but things can be taken more literally. S/he can be on stage, under a spotlight and hence is bright to look at. Let’s be literal today and figure out unexpectedly bright places on Earth.

To simplify the case, we set the ground as follow: things can be bright to our eyes physically in two ways. Number 1: It has to be very very hot and hence be the source of light (i.e. the sun, a light bulb or a fire). Number 2: It has to absorb minimal light and consequently, reflect most of the light it receives (i.e. a white shirt or snow).

If we take the Sun as the only source of light for this equation, any places on Earth that can reflect the most light is the brightest, right? *at least this is what I think, hbu?

Most of us know that sometimes, when there is alot of snow, and everything is very white outside, it can be very bright. This means that it should be no surprise to us that places with alot of ice and snow are considered to be very bright. As a matter of fact, “our planet brightes surfaces are ice caps, glacier and snow-covered ground” (NASA NEO).

But what is interesting is that deserts are also very bright too. NASA’s Terre and Aqua satellite collected data on visible wavellength and calculates albedo (#light reflected/ #light received) of the Earth surface (NASA NEO).

This is my first GIS assignment and below is the map of Albedo index for Africa during June, 2016. I haven’t figured out how to add the scale chart to the map yet so pardon me for that. The darker blue the area is, the more light it absorbs. Hence, the white spots can be considered those brighest spot on the Earth!

*Note: Data weren’t collected over the oceans’ surface. Black dots are missing data but black lines are borders for countries *how confusing….

Enjoy and I’ll see you soon!

Albedo 1m africa 6.2016

 

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