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Albedo Project

Main Project Information
Goal Measure how much of the sun’s energy reflects back from Earth.
Task Take a picture of a white piece of paper and upload it.
Where Global, anywhere on the planet

Wherever you are – anywhere in the world – contribute to science by taking a photo of a blank white piece of paper!

Photos are needed on the following dates:

September 17 and 18, 2011
September 23, 2011
November 6, 2011
December 12, 2011
February 4, 2012
March 20, 2012
May 5, 2012
June 20, 2012
August 6, 2012
September 22, 2012
November 5, 2012

Your photo will used to measure how much of the sun’s energy is reflected back from the Earth -- our planet's "albedo." It's one way scientists can monitor how much energy – and heat – is being absorbed by our planet. By contributing to the Albedo Project, you will be providing data that can be used to examine the similarities and differences of reflectivity around the world.

Should grassy surfaces have the same value in Brazil as in Norway? How does clay soil in the southeastern USA differ from sandy desert in the southwestern USA? Is there any difference in urban “hot spots” that can be attributed to latitude?

Individuals, schools, small and large groups can all use these data to help inform activities that are appropriate and effective for their communities. Whether it is maintaining the health of parks and green spaces, or legislating green building codes, there is something each can do. It is the hope of this project to present some of the actions taken, as well as follow their albedo records over time.

How to Join

Here is the Albedo Project protocol that you must follow on the established dates:

- Put a matte white card or paper on a grassy surface. The white surface should fill 1/4 to 1/2 of the total view.

- Do not cast a shadow on the image.

- Snap a digital photo. No flash. Use auto adjust for exposure.

- Record your location (either city/state or lat/long if the photo is not geotagged)

- Submit your photo using link, above!

Required Gear

A digital camera, piece of paper, and a computer with Internet access.

Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity At the beach, On a hike, At school
Media Mentions
and Publications
Project Updated 04/10/2017