OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 39, Iss. 3 — Mar. 1, 1949
  • pp: 211–214

Night Sky Brightness Measurements in Latitudes below 45°

E. O. HULBURT  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 39, Issue 3, pp. 211-214 (1949)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (606 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Average values are given of the night sky brightness observed with visual photometers in Brazil, Bikini, Maryland, and New York State, which covered latitudes from 17° south to 45° north. The measurements revealed no important variations with latitude. For clear air, no moon, and noaurorae the brightness decreased on the average from about 225 millimicrolamberts at 15° above the horizon to 130 at the zenith. Previous determinations of the height of the night sky luminosity by means of the observed curves of brightness against zenith angle have lead to conflicting results, values from 60 to more than 500 km being reported. When the determination was repeated with recent data and with the improved corrections of Piotrowski for atmospheric attenuation and scattering such discrepancies between theory and experiment appeared that no certain values of the height were obtained.

E. O. HULBURT, "Night Sky Brightness Measurements in Latitudes below 45°," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 39, 211-214 (1949)

Sort:  Author  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. OSRD Report A Series of Measurements of the Brightness of the Night Sky, and the supplement thereto (Institute of Optics, University of Rochester, 1943).
  2. H. W. Babcockand J. J. Johnson, Astrophys. J. 94, 271–275 (1941).
  3. R. A. Richardson and E. O. Hulburt, "Brightness of the night sky near Bocaiuva, Brazil." A paper to be published in a technical report of the National Geographic Society.
  4. The literature of the night sky is voluminous and scattered, see surveys by G. Dejardin, Rev. Mod. Phys. 8, 1–21 (1936); C. T. Elvey, ibid. 14, 140–150 (1942); D. R. Bates, M. N. Roy, Astro. Soc. 106, 509–514 (1946); A. Kastler, Ann. de Geophysique, 2, 315–328 (1946).
  5. H. N. Russell, R. S. Dugan, and J. Q. Stewart, Astronomy (Ginn and Company, New York, 1926), Vol. 2, p. 625.
  6. D. Barbier, Ann. de geophysique 1, 144–156 (1944); E. O. Hulburt, report at the Gassiot Committee conference at London, July, 1947.
  7. S. L. Piotrowski, Astrophys. T. 106, 466–471 (1947).
  8. P. J. van Rhijn, Pub. Astr. Lab. Groningen, No. 21 (1921).
  9. E. O. Hulburt, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 31, 467–476 (1941); A. Bullrich, Optik 2, 301–325 (1947).
  10. C. G. Abbot, Astrophys. J. 28, 129–136 (1914).
  11. P. Abadie, A. Vassy, and E. Vassy, Ann. de Geophysique 1, 189–224 (1944).

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