Abstract

The sky brightness was measured during the partial phases and during totality of the 21 August 2017 total solar eclipse. A tracking CCD camera with color filters and a wide-angle lens allowed measurements across a wide field of view, recording images every 10 s. The partially and totally eclipsed Sun was kept behind an occulting disk attached to the camera, allowing direct brightness measurements from 1.5° to 38° from the Sun. During the partial phases, the sky brightness as a function of time closely followed the integrated intensity of the unobscured fraction of the solar disk. A redder sky was measured close to the Sun just before totality, caused by the redder color of the exposed solar limb. During totality, a bluer sky was measured, dimmer than the normal sky by a factor of 10,000. Suggestions for enhanced measurements at future eclipses are offered.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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