Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Velma I. Grover
ALBEDO ORIGINATES FROM a Latin word albus , which means white. Albedo is the amount of sunlight (of all wavelengths) that is reflected back from an object or a substance. The more the amount of light reflected back, the brighter the color of the object. A lesser amount of light is reflected back from darker objects. The albedo of an object varies from 0–1. Black objects have zero albedo, while white objects have an albedo of one. Sometimes it is also expressed in terms of percentage, 1–100. An ideal white body thus has an albedo of 100 percent, while an ideal black body has an albedo of zero percent. Some standard amounts of sunlight reflected from certain objects are shown in Table 1 . Usually, albedo is used in the field of astronomy to describe reflective properties of planets, satellites, and asteroids. There are two types of astronomical albedo: normal ...