Solar Physics

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 347–365 | Cite as

The Harvard-Smithsonian reference atmosphere

  • O. Gingerich
  • R. W. Noyes
  • W. Kalkofen
  • Y. Cuny


We present a model of the solar atmosphere in the optical depth range from τ5000 = 10−8 to 25. It combines an improved model of the photosphere that incorporates recent EUV observations with a new model of the quiet lower chromosphere. The latter is based on OSO 4 observations of the Lyman continuum, on infrared observations, and on eclipse electron densities.

Our model differs from the Bilderberg Continuum Atmosphere (BCA) in the low chromosphere (τ5000 < 10−4), where deviations from local thermodynamic equilibrium in hydrogen and carbon have been taken into account. It also differs in the transition region between the chromosphere and the photosphere (10−4 < τ5000 < 10−2), where the temperature is lower than in the BCA, and in the convective region (τ5000 ≳ 2), where the temperature is higher than in the BCA.


Hydrogen Atmosphere Transition Region Thermodynamic Equilibrium Optical Depth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. Gingerich
    • 1
  • R. W. Noyes
    • 1
  • W. Kalkofen
    • 1
  • Y. Cuny
    • 2
  1. 1.Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Harvard College ObservatoryCambridgeU.S.A.
  2. 2.Observatoire de Paris, Section d'AstrophysiqueMeudonFrance

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