The radiance of most objects seen at a distance through the atmosphere is dominated by scattered light of a blue hue that should make the landscape appear predominately blue. However, common experience shows that people can see colors at a distance. A possible explanation of this paradox is that the visual system splits the light into a haze layer and the background landscape. A straightforward mathematical description of this splitting explains the results of a color matching study in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In this study, hues of objects seen through haze were found to be constant with changes in optical depth while colorfulness decreased exponentially.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
(010.1110) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Aerosols
(010.1290) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric optics
(330.1720) Vision, color, and visual optics : Color vision
(330.5020) Vision, color, and visual optics : Perception psychology
(330.5510) Vision, color, and visual optics : Psychophysics
Ronald C. Henry, Shudeish Mahadev, Santiago Urquijo, and Derek Chitwood, "Color perception through atmospheric haze," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17, 831-835 (2000)