8A20.20 - Albedo

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Reflection of Sunlight
Area of Study:
Solar System
Comet Demo, Rotating block with white and black surfaces, Flat and Crumpled Tin Foil, Moon or Earth Globe.

Place the rotating comet demo or black comet demo and either the earth or moon globe in the light from a slide projector.  Note how the light colored or shiny globe reflects much more light than the black spongy comet demo or the black surface on the rotating comet.  If you wish, you can look at the reflected light from the objects with a light sensor to produce a light curve.  

Hold a crumpled and flat piece of aluminum foil in the light from a slide projector.  Note how the flat shiny surface reflects much more light that the crumpled ball.  A light sensor may also be used to produce a light curve of the high albedo object.

  • Frank Daniel Lock, "Diagramming the Sun-Earth-Moon System", TPT, Vol. 57, #5, May 2019, p. 276. 
  • Dulli Chandra Agrawal, "Earthshine, Moonshine, Albedos, Climate …", TPT, Vol. 56, #6, Sept. 2018, p. 406. 
  • Michael C. LoPresto, "Adding Albedo and Atmospheres", TPT, Vol. 51, #3, Mar. 2013, p. 152.
  • E. Scott Barr, "Photometry Disappearance", TPT, Vol. 24, #4, Apr. 1986, p. 200.
  • R. H. Garstang, "Brightness of Moonlight", TPT, #5, May 1985, p. 293.
  • C. J. Stigter, Y. B. Mjungu, and J. M. Waryoba, "Outdoor Demonstration Experiment on the Effect of Soil Albedo on Soil Surface Temperature", AJP, Vol. 52, #8, Aug. 1984, p. 742.
  • R. M. Price and K. M. Parrish, "Simple Light Scattering Demonstration", AJP, Vol. 50, #5, May 1982, p. 473.
  • Kendra Pierre-Louis, "Our Swiftly Dimming Planet", Popular Science, July/August 2017, p. 23.
  • Rebecca Boyle, "Terrascope", Popular Science, Sep 2013, p. 24.
  • Janice VanCleave, "Brighter", Janice VanCleave's 204 Sticky, Gloppy, Wacky & Wonderful Experiments, p. 17.
  • W. Bolton, "The Surface of the Moon", Book 2 - Waves and Particles, Physics Experiments and Projects, 1968, p. 75.

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