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Help - Sun's Brightness

Brightness Scale

Watts per Square Meter or % of Sun

Select "percent Sun" if you want to choose brightness compared to our Sun, with values ranging from 60% to 110%.

Select "watts per square meter" if you want to choose brightness in terms of the energy per square meter that sunlight delivers to Earth each second. This value depends on the brightness of the Sun and on the distance between the Sun and Earth. The actual value is 1,366 watts/m2 for our Sun and for Earth's average distance from the Sun.

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Help - Albedos of Common Surfaces

Albedo of Common Surfaces

Pick a surface...

What would your planet's albedo be if the planet was entirely covered with forests? or oceans? or ice sheets? Use the "Pick a surface..." menu to cover your planet with common surface types.

Estimates of the precise albedo for a given surface vary substantially in the published literature. Most sources list a range of values, such as 80-95% for fresh snow. Different sources sometimes list different values for a given surface type. For reference, here are some examples:

  • Fresh snow or ice = 60-90% or 80-95%
  • Old, melting snow = 40-70%
  • Sea ice = 25-60%
  • Clouds = 40-90%
  • Forest = 5-20% or 10-20%
  • Tropical forests = 13% or Woodland = 14%
  • Crops or grasslands = 10-25%
  • Grasslands = 18-25% or 20%
  • Grass = 25-30%
  • Soil = 5-30%
 
  • Water = 5-10% or 8-10% or 10-60%
  • Clouds = 40-90%
  • Desert sand = 30-50% or Sandy desert = 37%
  • Stony desert = 24%
  • Tundra = 15-35%
  • Asphalt = 5-10% or 4-12%
  • Concrete (dry) = 17-27% or 55%
  • Brick or stone = 20-40%
  • Dark roof = 8-18% or Light roof = 35-50%
  • Moon = 6-14% (some bright areas 17-30%)
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