The researchers also plotted angles to determine that the light was reflecting off of ice particles floating in the air nearly horizontally. If so, it’s a feature that could be incorporated into computer models of how much heat is reaching and leaving Earth. During one if its gravitational-assist swings around Earth, Galileo turned its instruments on this planet and collected data.The DSCOVR mission is a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U. As the contact listed on the website that posts all EPIC images, Marshak started getting emails from people curious about what the flashes were. Alexander Marshak, DSCOVR deputy project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, first noticed light flashes occasionally appearing over oceans as he looked through that day’s EPIC images.This helped confirm that it wasn’t something like lightning causing the flashes, Marshak said: "Lightning doesn’t care about the sun and EPIC’s location. Sagan and his colleagues used that to test a key question: Whether spacecraft could detect signatures of life from afar. 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 measurable impact on how much sunlight passes through the atmosphere. And those flashes appeared in the EPIC images as well. When they plotted the locations of the glints wholesale Bathroom Bluetooth Led Mirrors for sale with where those angles would match, given Earth’s tilt and the spacecraft’s location, the two matched."We found quite a few very bright flashes over land as well," he said.Detecting glints like this from much farther away than in this case could be used by other spacecraft to study exoplanets, he said.nature.html ]]. 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..One million miles from Earth, a NASA camera is capturing unexpected flashes of light reflecting off our planet. It’s definitely ice, and most likely solar reflection off of horizontally oriented particles," Marshak said.The scientists reasoned that if these 866 flashes were caused by reflected sunlight, they would be limited to certain spots on the globe – spots where the angle between the sun and Earth is the same as the angle between the spacecraft and Earth, allowing for the spacecraft to pick up the reflected light.
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