What is an albedo?

Mars GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite System for Mars

Maybe you have already heard that there are planets, moons and othere object in the solar system that have a different albedo.

But what this term “albedo” really means?

The albedo simply means reflectivity. The albedo is always defined as a number between 0 and 1. Typically when there is albedo defined as 0, this means that the reflectivity of the surface of the planet is zero and the planet is absorbing the all sunlight. When the albedo is 1, this means that the planet reflects all the sunlight that is hitting this planet. This is just theory, because the typical planet (or any other planetary object or moon, etc) has the albedo between 0 and 1.

The albedo is important physical definition of the planet (or other object in the Solar system). It is simply defining the reflectivity of the surface abd with this we can say a lot when studying the surface. We can define other physical characteristics and natural conditions.

Now you should understand what albedo is. Isn’t this fascinating?


Featured image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech, Cassini mission (the last photo of Saturn).

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Cite this text:
Jozef Kozár, PhD / Planetary (December 11, 2023) What is an albedo?. Retrieved from https://www.jozefkozar.com/lab/2019/07/06/what-is-an-albedo/.
"What is an albedo?." Jozef Kozár, PhD / Planetary - December 11, 2023, https://www.jozefkozar.com/lab/2019/07/06/what-is-an-albedo/
Jozef Kozár, PhD / Planetary July 6, 2019 What is an albedo?., viewed December 11, 2023,<https://www.jozefkozar.com/lab/2019/07/06/what-is-an-albedo/>
Jozef Kozár, PhD / Planetary - What is an albedo?. [Internet]. [Accessed December 11, 2023]. Available from: https://www.jozefkozar.com/lab/2019/07/06/what-is-an-albedo/
"What is an albedo?." Jozef Kozár, PhD / Planetary - Accessed December 11, 2023. https://www.jozefkozar.com/lab/2019/07/06/what-is-an-albedo/
"What is an albedo?." Jozef Kozár, PhD / Planetary [Online]. Available: https://www.jozefkozar.com/lab/2019/07/06/what-is-an-albedo/. [Accessed: December 11, 2023]

Dr. Jozef Kozár

Author, Research Scientist, Consultant.

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