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The Brightness of the Twilight Sky and the Density of the Atmosphere to about 60 km

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[Technical Report, Formal Report]

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With a calibrated Macbeth illuminator 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 0 of the sun below the horizon from 0 to 13. For clear sky conditions the iz, o and 1g, 0 curves did not change 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 15 K from 20 to 60 km. The influence of secondary scattering, determined from ig, although small for small values of 0 increased rapidly with 0 to such an extent that the twilight zenith sky brightness measures gave no indication of the distribution of density above about 60 km.


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  • Optics

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[A, Approved For Public Release]