The relative spectral intensity of the zenith sky was measured with an optical scanning spectrometer at Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, during the total solar eclipse of 7 March 1970. The spectral ratios I(5100 Å)/I(4300 Å) and I(5900 Å)/I(5100 Å) at Nantucket remained unchanged for 96% or less obscuration of the sun by the moon. The results are compared with other recent relative spectral intensity measurements made during total solar eclipses. Comparison with other eclipse measurements for solar elevation angle at totality less than 45° shows a blue color shift consistent with rayleigh scattering. Eclipses with solar elevation angles at totality greater than 45° do not show consistent color shifts. This inconsistency may be due to difficulty in establishing a suitable reference spectrum for comparison with the spectral distribution of the zenith sky at totality. Selection of a suitable reference spectrum is discussed.
© 1971 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: September 11, 1970
Published: June 1, 1971
W. N. Hall, "Spectral Changes in the Zenith Skylight During Total Solar Eclipses," Appl. Opt. 10, 1225-1231 (1971)