What does reflection mean?

Reflection means that something is thrown ago. If, for instance, a ball is thrown against a wall and also it comes earlier, one can say that it has actually been reflected. The same happens with sunlight meeting the surface of the earth: It is being reflected and also deserve to thus be gathered by a remote sensing sensor. If the light provides contact through a smooth surconfront such as a mirror the equation is: angle of incidence = angle of reflection. The principle of the specular (mirror-like) reflection is shown in the computer animation listed below.

You are watching: Why is reflection most important to remote sensing


Click on the laser in order to point it in a brand-new direction and also watch just how both the angle of incidence and also the angle of reflection readjust.



Tright here are generally 3 forms of light reflections. However before, please note that the reflection depends upon the surconfront roughness of a things.

1. Specular (mirror-like) reflection: The light ray meets a smooth surchallenge and also the angle of incidence is identical with the angle of reflection.2. Diffusage reflection: The light ray meets a rough surface and is equally reflected in all directions.3. Mixed reflection: The light ray meets an extremely stormy surchallenge and also is unequally reflected in all directions. This kind of reflection is the the majority of common one in nature!



Three kinds of light reflection: The mixed reflection (right) is the a lot of widespread one in nature.



If light renders contact with a body, it doesn"t mean it is being reflected in any type of situation. It deserve to pass through the body (transmission) or have the right to be refracted (refraction). In case of refraction, the light passes with the body however transforms its propagation direction. The most important processes are reflection and absorption.


What is supposed by absorption?

Surencounters execute not just reflect light; they additionally absorb it. The light power is soaked up by the molecules of a body and is then transcreated right into kinetic power. The climb in movement of the molecules produces warmth which is radiated to the surroundings. The computer animation below mirrors the procedure of absorption in a simplified manner.



The darker a surface, the even more sunlight is being soaked up and also, for this reason, even more kinetic energy is obtained by the molecules. The location warms up!


The ethics of absorption can be transferred to day-to-day life: A babsence t-shirt absorbs even more sunlight than a white one. This is the reason why we are sweating more wearing a black shirt in summer. The albedo of a body is essential for the percent of soaked up sunlight. It actions the degree of reflection of materials in various spectral ranges. An albeexecute of 100% shows than no absorption takes place; appropriately, an albedo of 0% represents no reflection. The table listed below lists worths of albedo for different materials in the visible variety of light.














water bodies

(sun is low)


water bodies (sun is high)5%

With the aid of reflection and also absorption behaviour in the variety of the electromagnetic spectrum, the spectral fingerprint of objects deserve to be qualified.

See more: Which Of The Following Is Not A Difference Between Dna And Rna?



Conclusion:Electromagnetic waves prefer the sunlight can be reflected and also soaked up. Reflection suggests that they are thrown ago from a surface; absorption suggests that they are incorporated by a surconfront and also transdeveloped right into heat energy. Different surfaces reflect and also absorb in different ways. The ratio between absorption and reflection is called albedo.