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Optical Phenomena

The optical phenomena our satellites observe are often due to the interaction of light from the Sun on our Earth and Ocean, as well as shadows from the Moon.

Image of the earth with the sun in the background


Common types of Optical Phenomena

The shadow of the moon moves across South America during a solar eclipse on July 2, 2019.
During a solar eclipse, the moon moves between the sun and the Earth, causing its shadow to move across the planet.
Learn more about eclipses
Image of the earth
Throughout the year, seasons change as different parts of the planet receive more of the sun's rays due to the planet's tilt.
The changing of seasons
Image of the earth during sunrise
We can see the sun rise and set via satellite by watching the solar terminator, the moving line that divides the daylit and dark night side of the planet.
The solar terminator
Sunglint reflected on the Amazon lights up the rivers like lightning.
When sunlight is reflected off the Earth's surface at the same angle that the satellite's sensor views it, the effect is known as sunglint.
An example of sunglint


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