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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 28, Iss. 7 — Jul. 1, 1938
  • pp: 227–236

The Brightness of the Twilight Sky and the Density and Temperature of the Atmosphere

E. O. HULBURT  »View Author Affiliations


JOSA, Vol. 28, Issue 7, pp. 227-236 (1938)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSA.28.000227


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Abstract

With a calibrated Macbeth illuminometer measurements were made of iz the brightness of the zenith sky and of ig the energy flux across a vertical plane from the twilight horizon for the depression θ of the sun below the horizon from 0° to 13°. For clear sky conditions the iz, θ and ig, θ curves did not change within 30 percent with the season from October, 1937, to April, 1938, and were the same for evening and morning twilight. Calculation from the Rayleigh theory of molecular scattering and the observed iz and ig data showed that within ±30 percent the densities of the atmosphere from sea level to about 60 km were those of the density-height relation known to 20 km and extrapolated for a temperature of 218°K. It follows that the temperature of the twilight temperate zone atmosphere is 218°±15°K from 20 to 60 km. The influence of secondary scattering, determined from ig, although small for small values of θ increased rapidly with θ to such an extent that the twilight zenith sky brightness measures gave no indication of the distribution of density above about 60 km.

Citation
E. O. HULBURT, "The Brightness of the Twilight Sky and the Density and Temperature of the Atmosphere," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 28, 227-236 (1938)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josa/abstract.cfm?URI=josa-28-7-227

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