Albedo

I have been thinking further about how I might be able to use the albedo in my pieces. I thought that I could relate the albedo of the planet to the materials of the piece. EG mirror polished bronze with give a high albedo, whereas patinated bronze will give a lower albedo. Below is a table which I will use to refer to the planets albedo, I will be looking at ‘Bond Albedo’-

Planet Bond Albedo Geometric Albedo
Mercury 0.12 0.14
Venus 0.75 0.84
Earth 0.30 0.37
Moon 0.12 0.11
Mars 0.16 0.15
Jupiter 0.34
Saturn 0.34
Uranus 0.30
Neptune 0.29
Pluto 0.4 0.44-0.61

Table from http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/cosmos/A/Albedo

Bond albedos – total radiation reflected from an object compared to the total incident radiation from the Sun. Geometric albedos – the amount of radiation relative to that from a flat Lambertian surface which is an ideal reflector at all wavelengths.

They  also explain a bit about the measurements of albedo-

Albedo is a measurement of the amount of light reflected from the surface of a celestial object, such as a planet, satellite, comet or asteroid. The albedo is the ratio of the reflected light to the incident light:

$ A= \frac{\text{reflected light}}{\text{incident light}} $

It has values between:

  • 0: a black object that absorbs all light and reflects none; and
  • 1: a white object that reflects all light and absorbs none.

Planets and satellites with clouds tend to have a high albedo, while rocky objects such as asteroids have a low albedo. The albedo of an object changes with wavelength, depending on the efficiency of reflection for different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. The albedo of the Earth changes slightly with the seasons, due to differences in the amount of cloud cover and the presence of snow in either hemisphere and at the poles.

I thought there was also a interesting opportunity to use the seasonal changes in albedo on planets such as earth and mars to affect a form, or you could have a series of objects which represent the changes in albedo overtime.

I plan to draw up a table with the albedos of the relative planets together with the corresponding materials.

See my Research Booklet for further albedo research and findings.

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