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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 20, Iss. 12 — Jun. 15, 1981
  • pp: 2043–2047

Novaya Zemlya effect: analysis of an observation

W. H. Lehn and B. A. German  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 20, Issue 12, pp. 2043-2047 (1981)

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The Novaya Zemlya effect, historically identified with the premature rebirth of the sun during the polar night, is a long range optical ducting phenomenon in the lower atmosphere. An occurrence of the effect was observed at Tuktoyaktuk, Canada (69°26N, 133°02W) on 16 May 1979, when the minimum solar altitude was −1°34. The sun's image remained above the horizon, within a gray horizontal band, and assumed the various expected shapes, ranging from a bright rectangle filling the band, to three flat suns stacked one over the other, to several thin vertically separated strips. A model for the corresponding atmospheric conditions was identified by matching the observations with images calculated from a computer simulation study.

© 1981 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: February 11, 1981
Published: June 15, 1981

W. H. Lehn and B. A. German, "Novaya Zemlya effect: analysis of an observation," Appl. Opt. 20, 2043-2047 (1981)

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  1. G. de Veer, The Three Voyages of William Barents to the Arctic Regions (1594, 1595, and 1596) (Hakluyt Society, London, 1876).
  2. E. Shackleton, South—The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914–1917 (Macmillan, New York, 1920).
  3. G. H. Liljequist, “Refraction Phenomena in the Polar Atmosphere,” in Scientific Results, Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition, 1949-52 (Oslo U.P., Oslo, 1964), Vol. 2, Part 2.
  4. A. Wegener, Ann. Phys. Leipzig 57, 203 (1918). [CrossRef]
  5. S. W. Visser, K. Ned, Akad. Wet. Ser. B 59, 375 (1956).
  6. W. H. Lehn, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 776 (1979). [CrossRef]
  7. The single word thermocline best summarizes the nature of the relevant temperature inversions; this usage comes from Liljequist, Ref. 3.
  8. A photograph of a terrestrial subject, made on the same night, appears in W. H. Lehn, J. Atmos. Terr. Phys. 42, 471 (1980). [CrossRef]
  9. The calculation of duct elevation angles, estimated to be accurate to ±1 min of arc, is based on measurements made on the original photographs.

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