Advertisement

Earth, Moon, and Planets

, Volume 91, Issue 3, pp 125–159 | Cite as

Optical Response of the Atmosphere During the Caribbean Total Solar Eclipses of 26 February 1998 and of 3 February 1916 at Falcón state, Venezuela

  • Marcos A. Peñaloza-Murillo
Article

Abstract

An investigation of the optical response of the atmosphere before, during, and afterthe total solar eclipse of 26 February 1998 at the Caribbean Peninsula of Paraguaná (Falcón State) in Venezuela, was made by measuring photometrically the intensity of the sky brightness in three strategic directions: zenith, horizon anti-parallel or opposite the umbra path, and horizon perpendicular to this path. From these measurements, and by applying in an inverse way an empirical photometric model, very rough estimations of theextinction coefficient, and also of the average optical depth, were obtained in one of these particular directions. However based on meteorological measurements such as those of relative humidity and temperature, and applying a different model, a better estimation in the visual of the total global extinction coefficient of the sky (except the horizon), were made considering the contribution of each component: atmospheric aerosol, water vapour, ozone and Rayleigh scattering. It is shown that this global coefficient is mostly dependent upon aerosol extinction. In spite of the strong reduction of sky brightness photometrically observed during the totality, the results show that the sky was not dark. This is confirmed by the results obtained for the total global extinction coefficient. Additionally it is estimated that the total solar eclipse that took place also in Falcón State, Venezuela, at the beginning of the last century on 3 February 1916, was ∼30% darker that the 1998 eclipse, and that atmospheric aerosol played a relevant and similar role in the scattering of sunlight during the totality as it was for 1998's. Visual observations made during each event, which show that at length only one or two bright stars could be seen in the sky, support the results obtained for both eclipses.

Atmospheric aerosol influence meteorological measurements photometric measurements sky brightness solar eclipse tropic 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abney, W. de W. and Thorpe: 1889, Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. 180, 363.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, C. W.: 1973, Astrophysical Quantities, 3rd edn., The Athlone Press, University of London, pp. 176, 239–241.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, J.: 1999, ‘Meteorological Changes during a Solar Eclipse’, Weather 54, 207–215.Google Scholar
  4. Baker, D. J.: 1974, ‘Rayleigh, the Unit of Light Radiance’, Appl. Opt. 13, 2160–2163.Google Scholar
  5. Baker, D. J. and Romick, G. J.: 1976, ‘The Rayleigh: Interpretation of the Unit in Terms of Column Emission Rate or Apparent Radiance Expressed in SI Units’, Appl. Opt. 15, 1966–1968.Google Scholar
  6. Bansal, M. K. and Verma, T. S.: 1998, ‘Aerosol Measurements at Roorkee Relating to the Total Solar Eclipse of 24 Oct. 1995’, Indian J. Radio Space Phys. 27, 260–263.Google Scholar
  7. Betenska, N.: 1944, ‘Concerning the Brightness of the Sky and the Illumination of the Earth during the Full Phase of a Solar Eclipse’, J. Br. Astron. Assoc. 54, 124–125.Google Scholar
  8. Bhattacharyya, J. C.: 1978, The Eclipse of February 16, 1980-Path of Totality in India, Report of India Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore.Google Scholar
  9. Bose, S., Lal, M., and Ghosh, A. B.: 1997, ‘Measurements of Water Vapour over Delhi during the Solar Eclipse-1995’, Kodaikanal Obs. Bull. 13, 183–187.Google Scholar
  10. Brooks, Ch. F., Fergunson, S. P., Kimball, H. H., Haurwitz, B., Brooks, E. S., Namias, J., Pierce, Ch. H.,Wexler, H., and Brooks, E.M.: 1941, Eclipse Meteorology with Special Reference to the Total Solar Eclipse of August 31, 1932, Harvard Meteorological Studies No. 5, Harvard University (Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory), Milton, MA, 109 pp.Google Scholar
  11. Bruin, F.: 1981, ‘Atmospheric Refraction and Extinction near the Horizon’, Arch. Hist. Exact Sci. 25, 1–17.Google Scholar
  12. Carman, E. H., Skinner, N. J., and Heeran, M. P.:1981, ‘Zenith Sky Brightness and Airglow Emissions during the Equatorial Solar Eclipse of 30 June 1973’, Appl. Opt. 20, 778–785.Google Scholar
  13. Dandekar, B. S.: 1968, ‘Measurements of the Zenith Sky Brightness and Color during the Total Solar Eclipse of 12 November 1966 at Quehua, Bolivia’, Appl. Opt. 7, 705–710.Google Scholar
  14. Dandekar, B. S. and Turtle, J. P.: 1971, ‘Day Sky Brightness and Polarization during the Total Solar Eclipse of 7 March 1970’, Appl. Opt. 10, 1220–1224.Google Scholar
  15. Dani, K. K. and Devara, P. C. S.: 1996, ‘Multispectral Measurements of Aerosol, Optical Thickness around the Total Eclipse of 24 October 1995 over Robertgunj, India’, J. Aerosol Sci. 27, S73-S74.Google Scholar
  16. del Castillo, E. A., Freitez, R., Wohnsiedler, S., Torrealba, J. Ma., Fortuna, R., del Castillo, J. M., García, J., de los Santos, F., Briceño, A. S., and Alvarado, R.: 1916, Our Contribution to the Observations of the Total Solar Eclipse of 3 February 1916, Tipografía Alvarez. Barquisimeto, Venezuela, 27 pp. (in Spanish).Google Scholar
  17. Darula, S. and Kittler, R.: 2000, ‘Daylight during Solar Eclipse’, CTU Rep. 4, 29–32.Google Scholar
  18. Darula, S., Kambezides, H. D., and Kittler, R.: 2001, ‘Daylight Levels during the Solar Eclipse of 11 August 1999’, Meteorol. Atmos. Phys. 76, 251–256.Google Scholar
  19. Duffett-Smith, P.: 1997, Easy PC Astronomy, Cambridge University Press, 151 pp.Google Scholar
  20. Espenak, F. and Anderson, J.: 1994, Total Solar Eclipse of 1995 October 24, NASA Reference Publication 1344, 73 pp.Google Scholar
  21. Espenak, F. and Anderson, J.: 1996, Total Solar Eclipse of 1998 February 26, NASA Reference Publication 1383, 97 pp.Google Scholar
  22. Fernández, W., Castro V., Wright, J., Hidalgo, H., and Sáenz, A.: 1993, ‘Changes in Solar Irradiance and Atmospheric Turbidity in Costa Rica during the Total Solar Eclipse of July 11, 1991’, Earth Moon Planets 63, 119–132.Google Scholar
  23. Fernández, W., Azofeifa, D. E., and Villalobos, J. A.: 1992, ‘El Eclipse Total de Sol del 11 de julio de 1991: Aspectos Generales’, in W. Fernández (ed.), El Eclipse Total de Sol del 11 de Julio de 1991: Observaciones Científicas Realizadas en Costa Rica, Editorial de la Universidad de Costa Rica, San José.Google Scholar
  24. Fiala, A. D.: 1976, Solar Eclipses of 1977, US Naval Observatory Circular No. 156, Washington, D.C., pp. 24–29.Google Scholar
  25. Fiala, A. D. and Lukac, R. L.: 1978, Total Solar Eclipse of 16 February 1980, US Naval Observatory Circular No. 158, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  26. Gedzelman, S. D.: 1975, ‘Sky Color near the Horizon during a Total Solar Eclipse’, Appl. Opt. 14, 2831–2837.Google Scholar
  27. González, G.: 1997, ‘Ground-Level Humidity, Pressure and Temperature Measurements during the October 24, 1995 Total Solar Eclipse’, Kodaikanal Obs. Bull. 13, 151–154.Google Scholar
  28. Halley, E.: 1715, Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. 20, 145.Google Scholar
  29. Hearnshaw, J. B.: 1992, ‘Origins of Stellar Magnitude Scale’, Sky Telesc. 84, 494–499.Google Scholar
  30. Hegg, D., Larson, T., and Yuen, P-F.: 1993, ‘A Theoretical Study of the Effect of Relative Humidity on Light Scattering by Tropospheric Aerosols’, J. Geophys. Res. 98D, 18435–18439.Google Scholar
  31. Hughes, D. W.: 2000, ‘Brightness during a Solar Eclipse’, J. Br. Astron. Assoc. 110, 203–205.Google Scholar
  32. Hunten, D. M., Roach, F. E., and Chamberlain, J. W.: 1956, ‘A Photometric Unit for the Airglow and Aurora’, J. Atmos. Terr. Phys. 8, 345–346.Google Scholar
  33. James, N.: 1998, ‘The Total Eclipse from Venezuela’, J. Br. Astron. Assoc. 108, 127–128.Google Scholar
  34. Jerrard. H. G. and McNeill, D. B.: 1986, A Dictionary of Scientific Units, Chapman and Hall, Ltd., 5th edn., London, 117 pp.Google Scholar
  35. Jeske, H.: 1988, ‘Meteorology Optics and Radiometeorology’, in G. Fischer (ed.), Landolt-Börnstein Numerical Data and Functional Relationships in Science and Technology, New Series, V/4b, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 187–348.Google Scholar
  36. Krisciunas, K. and Schaefer, B. E.: 1991, ‘A Model of the Brightness of Moonlight’, Publ. Astron. Soc. Pacific 102, 1033–1039.Google Scholar
  37. Kuiper, J. and van der Woude, M.: 1998, ‘De Totale Zonsverduistring van 26 Februari 1998(1)’, Meteorologica 2, 26–29, (Kuiper, J.) (2) 3, 32–33, (3) 4, 21–23.Google Scholar
  38. Lloyd, J. W. F. and Silverman, S. M.: 1971, ‘Measurements of the Zenith Sky Intensity and Spectral Distribution during the Solar Eclipse of 12 November 1966 at Bagé, Brazil, and on an Aircraft’, Appl. Opt. 10, 1215–1219.Google Scholar
  39. Liu, C-Y. and Zhou, X-L.: 1999, ‘The Sky Brightness When the Rising Sun Is in Eclipse’, Chin. Astron. Astrophys. 23, 249–257.Google Scholar
  40. Liu, C-Y., Li, J., and Zhou, X-L.: 1999, ‘Study on “Double Dawn”’, Sci. China (A) 42, 1224–1232.Google Scholar
  41. Lockyer, W. J. S.: 1927, ‘The Degree of Darkness during the Total Solar Eclipse of 1927 June 29’, Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 88, 97–101.Google Scholar
  42. Lovell, D. J.: 1953, ‘The Concept of Radiation Measurements’, Am. J. Phys. 21, 459–452.Google Scholar
  43. Manohar, G. K., Kandalgaonkar, S. S., and Ramana-Murty, Bh. V.: 1985, ‘Anomalous Behaviour of Electric Field in the Neighbourhood of Totality of Solar Eclipse’, Indian J. Radio Space Phys. 14, 80–81.Google Scholar
  44. Marriott, R. A.: 1999, ‘1927: A British Eclipse’, J. Br. Astron. Assoc. 109, 117–143.Google Scholar
  45. Maske, S. J., Nand, K., Behere P. G., Kachare, S. D., Ghanekar, S. G., and Vaidehi, P.: 1982, ‘How Air Pollutant Behaved on the Day of the Solar Eclipse on 16 February 1980’, J. Meteorol. Dept. India 33, 133–134.Google Scholar
  46. McCluney, W. R.: 1968, ‘Radiometry and Photometry’, Am. J. Phys. 36, 977–979.Google Scholar
  47. Meeus, J.: 1982, ‘The Frequency of Total and Annular Solar Eclipses for a Given Place’, J. Br. Astron. Assoc. 92, 124–126.Google Scholar
  48. Meyer-Arendt, J. R.: 1968, ‘Radiometry and Photometry: Units and Conversion Factors’, Appl. Opt. 7, 2081–2084.Google Scholar
  49. Middleton, W. E. K.: 1952, Vision through the Atmosphere, University of Toronto Press, pp. 6–17.Google Scholar
  50. Miller, R. E. and Fastie, W. G.: 1972, ‘Skylight Intensity, Polarization and Airglow Measurements during the Total Solar Eclipse of 30 May 1965’, J. Atmos. Terr. Phys. 34, 1541–1546.Google Scholar
  51. Niranjan, K. and Thulasiraman, S.: 1998, ‘Aerosol Optical Depth and Size Distribution Changes during the Total Solar Eclipse of 24 October 1995’, Terr. Atmos. Oceanic Sci. 9, 255–262.Google Scholar
  52. Peñaloza, M., M.A.: 1975, A Determination of the Local Circumstances of the Partial Solar Eclipse of 13 December 1974 from Photographic Observations, University of the Andes, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics, Mérida, Venezuela, Internal Report (in Spanish).Google Scholar
  53. Peñaloza, M.,, M.A., 1999, ‘An Investigation of Aerosol Optical Properties: Atmospheric Implications and Influences’, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Essex, Colchester, UK, 365 pp.Google Scholar
  54. Röhl, E.: 1932, ‘Partial Eclipse of the Sun of 31 August 1932’, Bol. Soc. Venezolana Ciens, Nat. No. 10, 393–397 (in Spanish).Google Scholar
  55. Rosenberg, G. V.: 1966, Twilight: A Study in Atmospheric Optics, Plenum, New York, 160 pp.Google Scholar
  56. Sapra, B. K., Mayya, Y. S., Sawant, V. D., and Nambi, K. S. V.: 1997a, ‘Aerosol Measurements at Trombay Relating to the 1995 Eclipse’, Curr. Sci. 72, 321–325.Google Scholar
  57. Sapra, B. K., Sunny, F., Kulkarni, P. B., Mahadevan, T. N., and Pandit, G. G.: 1997b, ‘Atmospheric Characteristics at Trombay Relating to the October 1995 Solar Eclipse’, Kodaikanal Obs. Bull. 13, 161–166.Google Scholar
  58. Schaefer, B. E.: 1986, ‘Atmospheric Extinction Effects on Stellar Alignments’, J. Hist. Astron. Suppl. (Archaeoastron.) 27, S32-S42.Google Scholar
  59. Schaefer, B. E.: 1993, ‘Astronomy and the Limits of Vision’, Vistas Astron. 36, 311–361.Google Scholar
  60. Schaefer, B. E.: 1998, ‘To the Visual Limits’, Sky Telesc. 95, 57–60.Google Scholar
  61. Schove, D. J. and Fletcher, A.: 1987, Chronology of Eclipses and Comets-AD 1~1000, The Boyde Press, Suffolk, UK, 356 pp.Google Scholar
  62. Sharp, W. E., Lloyd, J. W. F., and Silverman, S. M.: 1966, ‘Zenith Skylight Intensity and Color during the Total Solar Eclipse of 20 July 1963’, Appl. Opt. 5, 787–792.Google Scholar
  63. Sharp, W. E., Silverman, S. M., and Lloyd, J. W. F.: 1971, ‘Summary of Sky Brightness Measurements during Eclipses of the Sun’, Appl. Opt. 10, 1207–1210.Google Scholar
  64. Shaw, G. E.: 1975, ‘Sky Brightness and Polarization during the 1973 African Eclipse’, Appl. Opt. 14, 388–394.Google Scholar
  65. Shaw, G. E.: 1978, ‘Sky Radiance during a Total Solar Eclipse: A Theoretical Model’, Appl. Opt. 17, 272–276.Google Scholar
  66. Shaw, G. E.: 1979, ‘Sky Brightness during the 26 February 1979 Eclipse’, Appl. Opt. 18, 2362–2363.Google Scholar
  67. Shiozaki, M., Koga, Y., Nakamura, H., Shimazaki, S., and Kojo, S.: 1999, ‘Variations in Daylight during Solar Eclipses’, in Proceedings of the CIE Session, CIE Publ. No. 133, Vol. 1, 267–271.Google Scholar
  68. Sifontes, E.: 1920, ‘Meteorological Variations during an Eclipse-The Annular Eclipse of the Sun of 22 November 1919, Seen in Bolivar City, (Venezuela) SA, as a Partial Eclipse’, in Contributions to the Study of the Tropical Climatology in the South Zone of the Orinoco River, Part 3, Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, pp. 34–36 (in Spanish).Google Scholar
  69. Silverman, S. M. and Mullen, E. G.: 1974, Sky Brightness during Eclipses: A Compendium from Literature, AFCRL-TR–74–0363, Special Report No. 180, Hanscom USAFB, Massachusetts, 196 pp.Google Scholar
  70. Silverman, S. M. and Mullen, E. G.: 1975, ‘Sky Brightness during Eclipses: A Review’, Appl. Opt. 14, 2838–2843.Google Scholar
  71. Singh, A. K., Nivas, S., Kumar, A., Rai, J., and Nigam, M. J.: 1999, ‘Variations in Atmospheric Aerosols and Electric Conductivity at Roorkee during the Total Solar Eclipse of October 1995’, Indian J. Radio Space Phys. 28, 1–10.Google Scholar
  72. Stenz, L. E.: 1929, 'Radiation solaire à l'opacité atmosphérique pendant l'éclipse du soleil du 29.VI.1927 à Jokkmokk, Gerlands Beitr. Geophysik. XXI, 270–289.Google Scholar
  73. Stephenson, F. R.: 1992, ‘A Re-Investigation of the “Double Dawn” Event Recorded in the Bamboo Annals’, Quart. J. Roy. Astron. Soc. 33, 91–98.Google Scholar
  74. Tang, N. I.: 1996, ‘Chemical and Size Effects of Hygroscopic Aerosols on Light Scattering Coefficients’, J. Geophys. Res. 101D, 19245–19250.Google Scholar
  75. Taylor, B. J., Lucke, P. B., and Laulainen, N. S.: 1977, ‘Analyses of Atmospheric Extinction Data Obtained by Astronomers-I. A Time-Trend Analysis of Data with Internal Accidental Errors Obtained at Four Observatories’, Atmos. Environ. 11, 1–20.Google Scholar
  76. Ugueto, L.: 1916, The Total Solar Eclipse of 3 February 1916 in Venezuela, Ministry of Public Instruction-Cagigal Observatory, Litografía Comercio, Caracas, 42 pp. (in Spanish).Google Scholar
  77. USNO: 1939, Total Eclipse of the Sun-October 1, 1940 (Supplement to the American Ephemeris, 1940). The US Nautical Almanac Office-US Naval Observatory (USNO), Washington, D.C., 57 pp.Google Scholar
  78. Velasquez, D. A.: 1971, ‘Zenith Sky Brightness and Color Change during the Total Solar Eclipse of 12 November 1966 at Santa Inés, PerÚ’, Appl. Opt. 10, 1211–1214.Google Scholar
  79. Young, A. T.: 1990, ‘How We Perceive Star Brightness’, Sky Telesc. 79, 311–313.Google Scholar
  80. Zirker, J. B.: 1995, Total Eclipses of the Sun, Princeton University Press, 134 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcos A. Peñaloza-Murillo
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Research Laboratory, Central Campus. Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQUniversity of EssexMéridaVenezuela

Personalised recommendations