Abstract

At the earth’s surface, clear-sky colors during civil twilights depend on the combined spectral effects of molecular scattering, extinction by tropospheric aerosols, and absorption by ozone. Molecular scattering alone cannot produce the most vivid twilight colors near the solar horizon, for which aerosol scattering and absorption are also required. However, less well known are haze aerosols’ effects on twilight sky colors at larger scattering angles, including near the antisolar horizon. To analyze this range of colors, we compare 3D Monte Carlo simulations of skylight spectra with hyperspectral measurements of clear twilight skies over a wide range of aerosol optical depths. Our combined measurements and simulations indicate that (a) the purest antisolar twilight colors would occur in a purely molecular, multiple-scattering atmosphere, whereas (b) the most vivid solar-sky colors require at least some turbidity. Taken together, these results suggest that multiple scattering plays an important role in determining the redness of the antitwilight arch.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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