The term albedo (Latin for white) is commonly used to applied to the overall average reflection coefficient of an object. For example, the albedo of the Earth is 0.39 and this affects the equilibrium temperature of the Earth. The greenhouse effect, by trapping infrared radiation, can lower the albedo of the earth and cause global warming.

The albedo of an object will determine its visual brightness when viewed with reflected light. For example, the planets are viewed by reflected sunlight and their brightness depends upon the amount of light received from the sun and their albedo. Mercury receives the maximum amount of sunlight, but its albedo is only 0.1 so it is not as bright as it would be with a higher albedo.


Reflection concepts

Ch 8
HyperPhysics***** Light and Vision R Nave
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