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Author Topic: Can the sun reflect light?  (Read 7183 times)

Offline hazzamataz

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Can the sun reflect light?
« on: 04/06/2006 22:25:59 »
Sorry if this question is really stupid and the answer is blatantly no but can the sun reflect light? Obviously it emits radiation but can it reflect light from other light sources say other stars? I'd really like to know! Someone please enlighten me. (Sorry about the pun...)


 

Offline qazibasit

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Re: Can the sun reflect light?
« Reply #1 on: 08/06/2006 10:58:43 »
well the light of the sun is so enormous that it overcomes the magnitude of the light of other stars and its just like you are saying that what happen if i add a few drops of water in the sea.
 

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Re: Can the sun reflect light?
« Reply #2 on: 08/06/2006 12:35:52 »
quote:
Originally posted by qazibasit
well the light of the sun is so enormous that it overcomes the magnitude of the light of other stars and its just like you are saying that what happen if i add a few drops of water in the sea.



While this is true, and so makes it very difficult to measure the effect of incident radiation upon the Sun, it does not actually answer the question.

The additional problem is that the surface of the Sun is anything but smooth, and constantly changing, so even if incident light would impinge upon it, and even if it were reflected, it would be scattered in unpredictable ways.

The point is that however undetectable the effect, incident light impinging upon the Sun must either be reflected by it, absorbed by it, or allowed to pass through it.  The last of these seems particularly unlikely, which then must leave one of the other two.



George
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Re: Can the sun reflect light?
« Reply #3 on: 09/06/2006 11:27:45 »
The basic answe to this question is no because any light coming towards the sun would be absorbed.  But it is not as simple as this because absorbing light warms things up and if there was enough light hitting one side of the sun from another bright star close to it for the "reflection" to be detected over the natural radiation of the sun  the light coming in would heat up the side of the sun that was receiving it and the sun would become brighter but that is not reflection in the strict sense of the word.

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Offline hazzamataz

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Re: Can the sun reflect light?
« Reply #4 on: 10/06/2006 13:52:24 »
Thanks guys!
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Can the sun reflect light?
« Reply #5 on: 20/06/2006 22:48:29 »
As a firm believer in empirical study ,and to confirm Soul Surfers observation ,I have just emailed my friend in Australia, where it's now daylight, and have asked her to shine a torch at the sun and then wait the 16 minutes to see if she receives the torch beam back....

(.....16 mins later....)

Y'know..................that Soul Surfer is a clever bloke, my friend substantiates the answer [8D]

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Offline ukmicky

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Re: Can the sun reflect light?
« Reply #6 on: 21/06/2006 03:18:03 »
Neil

You should have tried a laser.

Michael
« Last Edit: 21/06/2006 03:18:34 by ukmicky »
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Can the sun reflect light?
« Reply #7 on: 21/06/2006 03:19:29 »
...I'll email her again...I think she has one of those laser pointy things....[8D]

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Offline lightarrow

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Re: Can the sun reflect light?
« Reply #8 on: 08/08/2006 17:03:25 »
I have a friend in astrophysics research. He states that sun is considered as a good blackbody, at least in the visible spectrum. So the answer to the question if sun reflects light (by the way, not a naive question) is: no. Soul Surfer is right.

The fact it's a good blackbody can be deduced from its spectrum of emission, it's not necessary to send light to it and look for a reflection! Physics is fascinating, isnt'it?
« Last Edit: 09/08/2006 11:34:46 by lightarrow »
 

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Re: Can the sun reflect light?
« Reply #8 on: 08/08/2006 17:03:25 »

 

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