Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • William M. Irvine
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1408-3


Scattering is a process in which a photon, or a particle, interacts with an atom, molecule, or particle and emerges in a different direction without, or with only a slight, difference in energy. In the interstellar medium, radiative scattering plus absorption by dust grains (in which the photon’s energy is converted into heat and possibly lower energy radiation) combine to produce extinction. In planetary atmospheres, scattering by molecules and cloud particles plays an important role in the diffuse reflection and transmission of radiation.

See Also


Lower Energy Bioorganic Chemistry Diffuse Reflection Energy Radiation Absorption Cross Section 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AstronomyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA