Satellite NASA Terra satellite captured terrible dark “tentacles” on the water surface – it seems that the dark forces captured the Arabian Sea. In fact, this is a very rare phenomenon, which researchers call Sunglint (from English – “sunshine”).
The phenomenon of Sunglint occurs when sunlight is reflected from the surface of the ocean at the same angle as the satellite’s surface. When the satellite collects images from the smooth surface of water, the light reflects mirror image, turning it into a dark spot. As soon as the waves appear, the light that hits the water surface is reflected with a multitude of different directions. This means that less light is transmitted to the photodetectors of the satellite. When the position of the sun, satellite and water are aligned at the same angle, the light areas of the water appear much brighter.
On satellite frames, Sunglint is usually depicted as a strip of bright light in the middle of the picture. The NASA image shows a natural phenomenon in the lower central part near the Arabian Sea. By the way, it can be seen not only in space photos. Sunglint – the phenomenon is quite “earthly”: you can observe on the beach a bright solar line that has got into the ocean – this similar process is called glitter path (from English – a sparkling path).