Shedding Light on PACE
PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem), with its advanced technology, will shed new light on our ocean and atmosphere. Data collected by PACE will not only extend existing ocean color, atmospheric aerosol, and cloud data records, but also address new and emerging science questions. PACE will measure light over a broader spectrum – and a finer resolution – than ever before. To appreciate how PACE will work, let's consider how its instruments will operate together to decipher the complex signals of incoming light. And to do that, we must understand light.
These pages provide a step-by-step guide to how PACE will work. The sections of the tutorial build on each other - Section I reviews the fundamental properties of light, Section II explains how light becomes the color we see, Section III explores how optically active constituents of the atmosphere interact with light, and Section IV explores how optically active constituents of the ocean interact with light.
Looking for a quick overview? Check out the "Something New Under the Sun" StoryMap. For a more technical look into the science behind how light and color are used by scientists to uncover mysteries of our ocean and atmosphere, check out this set of companion pages - Breaking Down Light Makes it All Add Up . And for an even deeper dive, check out The Ocean Optics Book .
Fundamental Properties of Light
- What is Light?
- How is Light Categorized?
- How does Light Move?
- Types of Scattering
- How Do Rainbows Work?
What Determines the Color We See?
- The Color Equation
- Incoming Light Spectrum
- What Determines Color?
- How Does Human Vision Work?
- Looking at PACE in RGB
How Does the Atmosphere Interact with Light?
- Atmospheric Light Attenuation
- What's in the Atmosphere?
- Measuring What's in the Atmosphere
- Travel Through Atmospheric Windows
- Red Sky at Night a Sailor's Delight
How Does the Ocean Interact With Light?
- Light Attenuation Through the Ocean
- What's That Stuff in the Water?
- Measuring What's in the Ocean
- Harmful Algal Blooms
- What Makes Your Tea Brown?
Breaking Down Light Makes it All Add Up
- Inherent Optical Properties
- Boundary Conditions
- Radiometric Variables
- Apparent Optical Properties
- What Does This Mean for PACE?