What Can We Learn from Sunglint?
It's amazing what you can learn from a picture. Take, for instance, this shot taken by NASA's Terra Satellite. It is of the Arabian Sea near Oman. The Sun can easily be seen reflecting off the still water of the sea back to the satellite, a phenomenon known as called 'sunglint.' But what about the dark, snake-like feature stretching through the middle of the reflection? Turns out... it's choppy water! The wind churns the water slightly, making it not as reflective as still water. Using an image like this, scientists can learn about the wind and water patterns. An satellite image is worth a thousand scientific models.