About this dataset
If you look at Mars in the night sky, the planet is little more than a glowing dot. From Mars, Earth would have the same star-like appearance. What gives the planets this light? Do they shine like a star? No. The light is mostly reflected sunlight. These images show how much sunlight Earth reflects. Bright parts of Earth like snow, ice, and clouds, reflect the most light; dark surfaces, like the oceans, reflect less light. Earth's average temperature is determined by the balance between how much sunlight Earth reflects, how much it absorbs, and how much heat it gives off.
What do the colors mean?
The colors in the map show the amount of shortwave energy (in Watts per square meter) that was reflected by the Earth system for the given time period(s). The brighter, whiter regions show where more sunlight is reflected, while green regions show intermediate values, and blue regions are lower values.
Imagery by Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory, based on FLASHFlux data. FLASHFlux data are produced using CERES observations convolved with MODIS measurements from both the Terra and Aqua satellite. Data provided by the FLASHFlux team, NASA Langley Research Center.
Federal Geographic Data Committee Geospatial Metadata
View the FGDC Metatdata for Reflected Shortwave Radiation (1 month)