What is the albedo rating of my very shiny cat?
July 31, 2022 5:23 PM   Subscribe

Our cat is very very shiny, it is one of her main skills. We are curious about how her albedo rating might be estimated. Of course we have provided a picture.

The shiny cat in question.
Is this like the Mohs Hardness scale where we compare her with other objects of known shininess? Are there any astrophysicists who can help?
posted by Vatnesine to Science & Nature (5 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
There is an app for that. (I am aware of this because a friend’s kid had to use it for a school assignment and complained “I thought albedo was just the name of a guy in genshin impact!”)
posted by Mizu at 5:48 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]

Teke Horses This horse breed has a high spectral reflectance because the coat hairs are naturally hollow. Perhaps your cat has a similar sort of genetic trait? Some black animals like ravens actually reflect light in the ultraviolet range out of the visible human spectrum; if you look at a raven in just the right light, a sheen of green or violet bounces off the structures of their feathers. Anyway, you might find that the coat of your cat has some unique light reflecting or structural qualities.
posted by effluvia at 6:24 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]

Best answer: It is not a diffuse Albedo, but specular at select angles. You could calculate it by constructing a crude Ulbricht (Integrating) Sphere, or just a large white box. You would need an interior flat white paint with a relatively known reflectance.

With a small light source and a light meter, taking the relative areas into account (assume the cat is a sphere); then compare the intensity with the cat in and out of the box relative to the areas.
posted by nickggully at 8:15 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]

I don’t have helpful information, but wanted to say your cat is beautiful and reminds me of volcanic glass rock.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 8:35 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]

This may be a good question for @ObservatoryCats.
posted by zamboni at 11:17 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]

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