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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 42, Iss. 3 — Jan. 20, 2003
  • pp: 342–353

Comparison of modeled and observed astronomical refraction of the setting Sun

Russell D. Sampson, Edward P. Lozowski, and Arthur E. Peterson  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 42, Issue 3, pp. 342-353 (2003)

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In this study a ray-tracing model that uses atmospheric data from VIZ and Vaisala RS80 rawinsondes is compared with the observed astronomical refraction presented by the setting Sun as seen from Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada. Photogrammetric measurements taken from photographs of the setting Sun show good agreement with the model for the 14 and 22 December 1998 sunsets. The poorer model results for the 8 December sunset appear to be caused by an obsolete and possibly defective VIZ rawinsonde. The results suggest that the ray-tracing model can produce improved refraction values when compared with the Pulkovo tables [Pulkovo Observatory, Refraction Tables of the Pulkovo Observatory, 5th ed. (Nauka, Leningrad, 1985)]. However, they also indicate that the inverse solution (i.e., extracting the temperature profile from refraction measurements) may produce no improvement on U.S. Standard Atmosphere adjusted to the surface conditions.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.0010) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric and oceanic optics
(010.4030) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Mirages and refraction

Original Manuscript: January 15, 2002
Revised Manuscript: April 18, 2002
Published: January 20, 2003

Russell D. Sampson, Edward P. Lozowski, and Arthur E. Peterson, "Comparison of modeled and observed astronomical refraction of the setting Sun," Appl. Opt. 42, 342-353 (2003)

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