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Solar aureoles caused by dust, smoke, and haze

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Abstract

The forward scattering of sunlight by atmospheric aerosols causes a bright glow to appear around the Sun. This phenomenon, the simplest manifestation of the solar corona, is called the solar aureole. Simple methods can be used to photograph the solar aureole with conventional and digital cameras. Aureole images permit both a visually qualitative and an analytically quantitative comparison of aureoles caused by dust, smoke, haze, pollen, and other aerosols. Many hundreds of aureole photographs have been made at Geronimo Creek Observatory in Texas, including a regular time series since September 1998. These images, and measurements extracted from them, provide an important supplement to studies of atmospheric aerosols.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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