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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 47, Iss. 34 — Dec. 1, 2008
  • pp: H52–H61

Simulating irradiance during lunar eclipses: the spherically symmetric case

Michael Vollmer and Stanley David Gedzelman  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 47, Issue 34, pp. H52-H61 (2008)

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Irradiance during total lunar eclipses is simulated using a pinhole model. The Moon is illuminated by direct sunlight that is refracted into the Earth’s shadow as it passes through the atmosphere at the terminator but is depleted by scattering by molecules, extinction by aerosol particles, absorption by ozone, and obstruction by clouds and elevated land. On a spherical, sea-level Earth, and a cloudless, molecular atmosphere with no ozone, the eclipsed Moon appears red and calculated irradiance at the center of the umbra is reduced by a factor of about 2400 from direct moonlight. Selective absorption mainly of light around 600 nm by stratospheric ozone turns the periphery of the umbra pale blue. Typical distributions of aerosol particles, ozone, mountains, and clouds around the terminator reduce irradiance by an additional factor of the order of 100.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1290) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric optics
(010.4950) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Ozone
(290.1090) Scattering : Aerosol and cloud effects
(010.5620) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Radiative transfer

Original Manuscript: April 29, 2008
Revised Manuscript: July 11, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: July 11, 2008
Published: August 29, 2008

Michael Vollmer and Stanley David Gedzelman, "Simulating irradiance during lunar eclipses: the spherically symmetric case," Appl. Opt. 47, H52-H61 (2008)

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