OVIRS Spectral Curve Captured During OSIRIS-REx’s Earth Gravity Assist

OVIRS, the OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer, captured this visible and infrared spectral curve, which shows the amount of sunlight reflected from the Earth, hours after the spacecraft’s closest approach during Earth Gravity Assist on Sept. 22 2017. The features in the curve are caused by solar absorption due to different substances (water vapor, carbon dioxide, and oxygen). The smooth red curve is the spectrum of the sun and shows what would be reflected if there these substances were not present in the atmosphere. OVIRS was built and is operated by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Inset: An image of Earth captured by the OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite (OCAMS) on the same date showing the approximate location of the “spot” (400 kilometers in diameter) on the Earth that was scanned by the OVIRS instrument to produce this spectral curve.

Date Taken: Sept. 22, 2017

Instrument Used: OVIRS (Inset OCAMS)

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona


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