Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 - DSCOVR - SLC-40, Cape Canaveral - Feb 2015 - DISCUSSION THREAD  (Read 550944 times)

Offline Star One

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NASA's EPIC view spots flashes on Earth

Another feature of the EPIC data helped confirm that the flashes were from a high altitude, not simply water on the ground. Two channels on the instrument are designed to measure the height of clouds, and when the scientists went to the data they found high cirrus clouds, 3 to 5 miles (5 to 8 kilometers) where the glints were located.

"The source of the flashes is definitely not on the ground. It's definitely ice, and most likely solar reflection off of horizontally oriented particles," Marshak said.

Detecting glints like this from much farther away than in this case could be used by other spacecraft to study exoplanets, he said. As an Earth scientist, however, Marshak is now investigating how common these horizontal ice particles are, and whether they're common enough to have a measureable impact on how much sunlight passes through the atmosphere. If so, it's a feature that could be incorporated into computer models of how much heat is reaching and leaving Earth.
« Last Edit: 05/17/2017 04:51 pm by Star One »