OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 14, Iss. 12 — Dec. 1, 1975
  • pp: 2831–2837

Sky color near the horizon during a total solar eclipse

Stanley David Gedzelman  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 14, Issue 12, pp. 2831-2837 (1975)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (832 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



A theory for the color of the sky near the horizon for an observer in the umbral region of a total solar eclipse is presented. The model uses a Rayleigh scattering atmosphere, and the light reaching the observer is a beam of singly scattered sunlight, which, in turn, has suffered depletion by scattering in its passage from outside the shadow region. The model predicts both the red color observed in the lowest 8° of the sky for the total solar eclipse of 30 June 1973 and the enriched blue color of the sky at any elevation angle greater than the solar elevation angle. The model is also adapted to explain the reddening of the horizon sky observed during such times as when a dark cloud passes overhead or when the light from a large city is seen from the distance at night.

© 1975 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: June 13, 1975
Published: December 1, 1975

Stanley David Gedzelman, "Sky color near the horizon during a total solar eclipse," Appl. Opt. 14, 2831-2837 (1975)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. W. J. Humphreys, Physics of the Air (McGraw Hill, New York, 1940).
  2. H. Rohr, The Beauty of the Universe (Viking, New York, 1972).
  3. M. Minnaert, Light and Color in the Open Air (Dover, New York, 1954).
  4. S. Silverman, E. Mullen, Sky Brightness During Eclipses, AFCRL-TR-74-0363 (1974).
  5. W. E. Sharp, J. Lloyd, S. Silverman, Appl. Opt. 5, 787 (1966). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. B. S. Dandekar, Appl. Opt. 7, 705 (1968). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. W. E. Sharp, S. Silverman, J. Lloyd, Appl. Opt. 10, 1207 (1971). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. D. A. Velasquez, Appl. Opt. 10, 1211 (1971). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. J. Lloyd, S. Silverman, Appl. Opt. 10, 1215 (1971). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. B. Dandekar, J. P. Turtle, Appl. Opt. 10, 1220 (1971). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. W. Benyon, G. Brown, Eds., Solar Eclipses and the Ionosphere (Pergamon, London, 1956).
  12. G. Shaw, Appl. Opt. 14, 388 (1975). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. K. Kondratyev, Radiation in the Atmosphere (Academic, New York, 1969).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited