Abstract

Scattering of sunlight produces patterns of partially linearly polarized light in the sky throughout the day, and similar patterns appear at night when the Moon is bright. We studied celestial polarization patterns during the period of twilight, when the Sun is below the horizon, determining the degree and orientation of the polarized-light field and its changes before sunrise and after sunset. During twilight, celestial polarized light occurs in a wide band stretching perpendicular to the location of the hidden Sun and reaching typical degrees of polarization near 80% at wavelengths >600  nm. In the tropics, this pattern appears 1  h before local sunrise or disappears 1  h after local sunset (within 10min after the onset of astronomical twilight at dawn, or before its end at dusk) and extends with little change through the entire twilight period.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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  1. G. Horváth and D. Varjú, Polarized Light in Animal Vision (Springer-Verlag, 2004).
  2. T. W. Cronin, N. Shashar, R. L. Caldwell, J. Marshall, A. G. Cheroske, and T. H. Chiou, "Polarization vision and its role in biological signaling," Integr. Comp. Biol. 43, 549-558 (2003).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. T.-H. Chiou, T. W. Cronin, R. L. Caldwell, and J. Marshall, "Biological polarized light reflectors in stomatopod crustaceans," in Polarization Science and Remote Sensing II, J. A. Shaw and J. S. Tyo, eds., Proc. SPIE 5888, 380-388 (2005).
  4. K. J. Voss and Y. Liu, "Polarized radiance distribution measurements of skylight. I. System description and characterization," Appl. Opt. 36, 6083-6094 (1997).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. K. L. Coulson, Polarization and Intensity of Light in the Atmosphere (Deepak, 1988).
  6. R. Wehner, "Polarization vision--a uniform sensory capacity?," J. Exp. Biol. 204, 2589-2596 (2001).
    [PubMed]
  7. R. L. Lee, Jr., "Digital imaging of clear-sky polarization," Appl. Opt. 37, 1465-1476 (1998).
    [CrossRef]
  8. J. Gál, G. Horváth, A. Barta, and R. Wehner, "Polarization of the moonlit clear night sky measured by full-sky imaging polarimetry at full moon: comparison of the polarization of moonlit and sunlit skies," J. Geophys. Res. , [Solid Earth] 106, 22647-22653 (2001).
    [CrossRef]
  9. A. Barta and G. Horváth, "Why is it advantageous for animals to detect celestial polarization in the ultraviolet? Skylight polarization under clouds and canopies is strongest in the UV," J. Theor. Biol. 226, 429-437 (2004).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. R. Wehner, "The ant's celestial compass system: spectral and polarizational channels," in Orientation and Communication in Arthropods, M. Lehrer, ed. (Birkhäuser-Verlag, 1997), pp. 145-185.
    [CrossRef]
  11. S. Rossel, "Polarization sensitivity in compound eyes," in Facets of Vision, D.G.Stavenga and R.C.Hardie, eds. (Springer-Verlag, 1989), pp. 298-316.
    [CrossRef]
  12. T. Labhart, J. Petzold, and H. Helbling, "Spatial integration in polarization-sensitive interneurones of crickets: a survey of evidence, mechanisms and benefits," J. Exp. Biol. 204, 2423-2430 (2001).
    [PubMed]
  13. D. Lambrinos, H. Kobayashi, R. Pfeifer, M. Maris, T. Labhart, and R. Wehner, "An autonomous agent navigating with a polarized light compass," Adaptive Behav. 6, 131-161 (1997).
    [CrossRef]
  14. D. Lambrinos, R. Möller, T. Labhart, R. Pfeifer, and R. Wehner, "A mobile robot employing insect strategies for navigation," Rob. Auton. Syst. 30, 39-64 (2000).
    [CrossRef]
  15. M. Dacke, D. E. Nilsson, C. H. Scholtz, M. Byrne, and E. J. Warrant, "Insect orientation to polarized moonlight," Nature 424, 33 (2003).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. M. Dacke, D. E. Nilsson, C. H. Scholtz, M. Byrne, and E. J. Warrant, "Lunar orientation in a beetle," Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 271, 361-365 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  17. M. V. Berry, M. R. Dennis, and R. L. Lee, Jr., "Polarization singularities in the clear sky," New J. Phys. 6, 162 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  18. I. Pomozi, G. Horváth, and R. Wehner, "How the clear-sky angle of polarization pattern continues underneath clouds: full-sky measurements and implications for animal orientation," J. Exp. Biol. 204, 2933-2942 (2001).
    [PubMed]
  19. E. J. Warrant, A. Kelber, A. Gislen, B. Greiner, W. Ribi, and W. Wcislo, "Nocturnal vision and landmark orientation in a tropical halictid bee," Curr. Biol. 14, 1309-1318 (2004).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. B. Greiner, W. A. Ribi, and E. J. Warrant, "Retinal and optical adaptations for nocturnal vision in the halictid bee Megalopta genalis," Cell Tissue Res. 316, 377-390 (2004).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. A. J. Helbig, "Depolarization of natural skylight disrupts orientation of an avian nocturnal migrant, "Experientia 46, 755-758 (1990).
  22. L. B. Wolff and A. G. Andreou, "Polarization camera sensors," Image Vis. Comput. 13, 497-510 (1995).
    [CrossRef]
  23. T. W. Cronin, E. J. Warrant, and B. Greiner, "Polarization patterns of the twilight sky," in Polarization Science and Remote Sensing II, J. A. Shaw and J. S. Tyo, eds., Proc. SPIE 5888, 204-211 (2005).

2005 (2)

T.-H. Chiou, T. W. Cronin, R. L. Caldwell, and J. Marshall, "Biological polarized light reflectors in stomatopod crustaceans," in Polarization Science and Remote Sensing II, J. A. Shaw and J. S. Tyo, eds., Proc. SPIE 5888, 380-388 (2005).

T. W. Cronin, E. J. Warrant, and B. Greiner, "Polarization patterns of the twilight sky," in Polarization Science and Remote Sensing II, J. A. Shaw and J. S. Tyo, eds., Proc. SPIE 5888, 204-211 (2005).

2004 (5)

E. J. Warrant, A. Kelber, A. Gislen, B. Greiner, W. Ribi, and W. Wcislo, "Nocturnal vision and landmark orientation in a tropical halictid bee," Curr. Biol. 14, 1309-1318 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

B. Greiner, W. A. Ribi, and E. J. Warrant, "Retinal and optical adaptations for nocturnal vision in the halictid bee Megalopta genalis," Cell Tissue Res. 316, 377-390 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. Dacke, D. E. Nilsson, C. H. Scholtz, M. Byrne, and E. J. Warrant, "Lunar orientation in a beetle," Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 271, 361-365 (2004).
[CrossRef]

M. V. Berry, M. R. Dennis, and R. L. Lee, Jr., "Polarization singularities in the clear sky," New J. Phys. 6, 162 (2004).
[CrossRef]

A. Barta and G. Horváth, "Why is it advantageous for animals to detect celestial polarization in the ultraviolet? Skylight polarization under clouds and canopies is strongest in the UV," J. Theor. Biol. 226, 429-437 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2003 (2)

T. W. Cronin, N. Shashar, R. L. Caldwell, J. Marshall, A. G. Cheroske, and T. H. Chiou, "Polarization vision and its role in biological signaling," Integr. Comp. Biol. 43, 549-558 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. Dacke, D. E. Nilsson, C. H. Scholtz, M. Byrne, and E. J. Warrant, "Insect orientation to polarized moonlight," Nature 424, 33 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2001 (4)

I. Pomozi, G. Horváth, and R. Wehner, "How the clear-sky angle of polarization pattern continues underneath clouds: full-sky measurements and implications for animal orientation," J. Exp. Biol. 204, 2933-2942 (2001).
[PubMed]

J. Gál, G. Horváth, A. Barta, and R. Wehner, "Polarization of the moonlit clear night sky measured by full-sky imaging polarimetry at full moon: comparison of the polarization of moonlit and sunlit skies," J. Geophys. Res. , [Solid Earth] 106, 22647-22653 (2001).
[CrossRef]

T. Labhart, J. Petzold, and H. Helbling, "Spatial integration in polarization-sensitive interneurones of crickets: a survey of evidence, mechanisms and benefits," J. Exp. Biol. 204, 2423-2430 (2001).
[PubMed]

R. Wehner, "Polarization vision--a uniform sensory capacity?," J. Exp. Biol. 204, 2589-2596 (2001).
[PubMed]

2000 (1)

D. Lambrinos, R. Möller, T. Labhart, R. Pfeifer, and R. Wehner, "A mobile robot employing insect strategies for navigation," Rob. Auton. Syst. 30, 39-64 (2000).
[CrossRef]

1998 (1)

1997 (2)

K. J. Voss and Y. Liu, "Polarized radiance distribution measurements of skylight. I. System description and characterization," Appl. Opt. 36, 6083-6094 (1997).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. Lambrinos, H. Kobayashi, R. Pfeifer, M. Maris, T. Labhart, and R. Wehner, "An autonomous agent navigating with a polarized light compass," Adaptive Behav. 6, 131-161 (1997).
[CrossRef]

1995 (1)

L. B. Wolff and A. G. Andreou, "Polarization camera sensors," Image Vis. Comput. 13, 497-510 (1995).
[CrossRef]

1990 (1)

A. J. Helbig, "Depolarization of natural skylight disrupts orientation of an avian nocturnal migrant, "Experientia 46, 755-758 (1990).

Andreou, A. G.

L. B. Wolff and A. G. Andreou, "Polarization camera sensors," Image Vis. Comput. 13, 497-510 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Barta, A.

A. Barta and G. Horváth, "Why is it advantageous for animals to detect celestial polarization in the ultraviolet? Skylight polarization under clouds and canopies is strongest in the UV," J. Theor. Biol. 226, 429-437 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Gál, G. Horváth, A. Barta, and R. Wehner, "Polarization of the moonlit clear night sky measured by full-sky imaging polarimetry at full moon: comparison of the polarization of moonlit and sunlit skies," J. Geophys. Res. , [Solid Earth] 106, 22647-22653 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Berry, M. V.

M. V. Berry, M. R. Dennis, and R. L. Lee, Jr., "Polarization singularities in the clear sky," New J. Phys. 6, 162 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Byrne, M.

M. Dacke, D. E. Nilsson, C. H. Scholtz, M. Byrne, and E. J. Warrant, "Lunar orientation in a beetle," Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 271, 361-365 (2004).
[CrossRef]

M. Dacke, D. E. Nilsson, C. H. Scholtz, M. Byrne, and E. J. Warrant, "Insect orientation to polarized moonlight," Nature 424, 33 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Caldwell, R. L.

T.-H. Chiou, T. W. Cronin, R. L. Caldwell, and J. Marshall, "Biological polarized light reflectors in stomatopod crustaceans," in Polarization Science and Remote Sensing II, J. A. Shaw and J. S. Tyo, eds., Proc. SPIE 5888, 380-388 (2005).

T. W. Cronin, N. Shashar, R. L. Caldwell, J. Marshall, A. G. Cheroske, and T. H. Chiou, "Polarization vision and its role in biological signaling," Integr. Comp. Biol. 43, 549-558 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cheroske, A. G.

T. W. Cronin, N. Shashar, R. L. Caldwell, J. Marshall, A. G. Cheroske, and T. H. Chiou, "Polarization vision and its role in biological signaling," Integr. Comp. Biol. 43, 549-558 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Chiou, T. H.

T. W. Cronin, N. Shashar, R. L. Caldwell, J. Marshall, A. G. Cheroske, and T. H. Chiou, "Polarization vision and its role in biological signaling," Integr. Comp. Biol. 43, 549-558 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Chiou, T.-H.

T.-H. Chiou, T. W. Cronin, R. L. Caldwell, and J. Marshall, "Biological polarized light reflectors in stomatopod crustaceans," in Polarization Science and Remote Sensing II, J. A. Shaw and J. S. Tyo, eds., Proc. SPIE 5888, 380-388 (2005).

Coulson, K. L.

K. L. Coulson, Polarization and Intensity of Light in the Atmosphere (Deepak, 1988).

Cronin, T. W.

T.-H. Chiou, T. W. Cronin, R. L. Caldwell, and J. Marshall, "Biological polarized light reflectors in stomatopod crustaceans," in Polarization Science and Remote Sensing II, J. A. Shaw and J. S. Tyo, eds., Proc. SPIE 5888, 380-388 (2005).

T. W. Cronin, E. J. Warrant, and B. Greiner, "Polarization patterns of the twilight sky," in Polarization Science and Remote Sensing II, J. A. Shaw and J. S. Tyo, eds., Proc. SPIE 5888, 204-211 (2005).

T. W. Cronin, N. Shashar, R. L. Caldwell, J. Marshall, A. G. Cheroske, and T. H. Chiou, "Polarization vision and its role in biological signaling," Integr. Comp. Biol. 43, 549-558 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Dacke, M.

M. Dacke, D. E. Nilsson, C. H. Scholtz, M. Byrne, and E. J. Warrant, "Lunar orientation in a beetle," Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 271, 361-365 (2004).
[CrossRef]

M. Dacke, D. E. Nilsson, C. H. Scholtz, M. Byrne, and E. J. Warrant, "Insect orientation to polarized moonlight," Nature 424, 33 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Dennis, M. R.

M. V. Berry, M. R. Dennis, and R. L. Lee, Jr., "Polarization singularities in the clear sky," New J. Phys. 6, 162 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Gál, J.

J. Gál, G. Horváth, A. Barta, and R. Wehner, "Polarization of the moonlit clear night sky measured by full-sky imaging polarimetry at full moon: comparison of the polarization of moonlit and sunlit skies," J. Geophys. Res. , [Solid Earth] 106, 22647-22653 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Gislen, A.

E. J. Warrant, A. Kelber, A. Gislen, B. Greiner, W. Ribi, and W. Wcislo, "Nocturnal vision and landmark orientation in a tropical halictid bee," Curr. Biol. 14, 1309-1318 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Greiner, B.

T. W. Cronin, E. J. Warrant, and B. Greiner, "Polarization patterns of the twilight sky," in Polarization Science and Remote Sensing II, J. A. Shaw and J. S. Tyo, eds., Proc. SPIE 5888, 204-211 (2005).

B. Greiner, W. A. Ribi, and E. J. Warrant, "Retinal and optical adaptations for nocturnal vision in the halictid bee Megalopta genalis," Cell Tissue Res. 316, 377-390 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

E. J. Warrant, A. Kelber, A. Gislen, B. Greiner, W. Ribi, and W. Wcislo, "Nocturnal vision and landmark orientation in a tropical halictid bee," Curr. Biol. 14, 1309-1318 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Helbig, A. J.

A. J. Helbig, "Depolarization of natural skylight disrupts orientation of an avian nocturnal migrant, "Experientia 46, 755-758 (1990).

Helbling, H.

T. Labhart, J. Petzold, and H. Helbling, "Spatial integration in polarization-sensitive interneurones of crickets: a survey of evidence, mechanisms and benefits," J. Exp. Biol. 204, 2423-2430 (2001).
[PubMed]

Horváth, G.

A. Barta and G. Horváth, "Why is it advantageous for animals to detect celestial polarization in the ultraviolet? Skylight polarization under clouds and canopies is strongest in the UV," J. Theor. Biol. 226, 429-437 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Gál, G. Horváth, A. Barta, and R. Wehner, "Polarization of the moonlit clear night sky measured by full-sky imaging polarimetry at full moon: comparison of the polarization of moonlit and sunlit skies," J. Geophys. Res. , [Solid Earth] 106, 22647-22653 (2001).
[CrossRef]

I. Pomozi, G. Horváth, and R. Wehner, "How the clear-sky angle of polarization pattern continues underneath clouds: full-sky measurements and implications for animal orientation," J. Exp. Biol. 204, 2933-2942 (2001).
[PubMed]

G. Horváth and D. Varjú, Polarized Light in Animal Vision (Springer-Verlag, 2004).

Kelber, A.

E. J. Warrant, A. Kelber, A. Gislen, B. Greiner, W. Ribi, and W. Wcislo, "Nocturnal vision and landmark orientation in a tropical halictid bee," Curr. Biol. 14, 1309-1318 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Kobayashi, H.

D. Lambrinos, H. Kobayashi, R. Pfeifer, M. Maris, T. Labhart, and R. Wehner, "An autonomous agent navigating with a polarized light compass," Adaptive Behav. 6, 131-161 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Labhart, T.

T. Labhart, J. Petzold, and H. Helbling, "Spatial integration in polarization-sensitive interneurones of crickets: a survey of evidence, mechanisms and benefits," J. Exp. Biol. 204, 2423-2430 (2001).
[PubMed]

D. Lambrinos, R. Möller, T. Labhart, R. Pfeifer, and R. Wehner, "A mobile robot employing insect strategies for navigation," Rob. Auton. Syst. 30, 39-64 (2000).
[CrossRef]

D. Lambrinos, H. Kobayashi, R. Pfeifer, M. Maris, T. Labhart, and R. Wehner, "An autonomous agent navigating with a polarized light compass," Adaptive Behav. 6, 131-161 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Lambrinos, D.

D. Lambrinos, R. Möller, T. Labhart, R. Pfeifer, and R. Wehner, "A mobile robot employing insect strategies for navigation," Rob. Auton. Syst. 30, 39-64 (2000).
[CrossRef]

D. Lambrinos, H. Kobayashi, R. Pfeifer, M. Maris, T. Labhart, and R. Wehner, "An autonomous agent navigating with a polarized light compass," Adaptive Behav. 6, 131-161 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Lee, R. L.

M. V. Berry, M. R. Dennis, and R. L. Lee, Jr., "Polarization singularities in the clear sky," New J. Phys. 6, 162 (2004).
[CrossRef]

R. L. Lee, Jr., "Digital imaging of clear-sky polarization," Appl. Opt. 37, 1465-1476 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Liu, Y.

Maris, M.

D. Lambrinos, H. Kobayashi, R. Pfeifer, M. Maris, T. Labhart, and R. Wehner, "An autonomous agent navigating with a polarized light compass," Adaptive Behav. 6, 131-161 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Marshall, J.

T.-H. Chiou, T. W. Cronin, R. L. Caldwell, and J. Marshall, "Biological polarized light reflectors in stomatopod crustaceans," in Polarization Science and Remote Sensing II, J. A. Shaw and J. S. Tyo, eds., Proc. SPIE 5888, 380-388 (2005).

T. W. Cronin, N. Shashar, R. L. Caldwell, J. Marshall, A. G. Cheroske, and T. H. Chiou, "Polarization vision and its role in biological signaling," Integr. Comp. Biol. 43, 549-558 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Möller, R.

D. Lambrinos, R. Möller, T. Labhart, R. Pfeifer, and R. Wehner, "A mobile robot employing insect strategies for navigation," Rob. Auton. Syst. 30, 39-64 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Nilsson, D. E.

M. Dacke, D. E. Nilsson, C. H. Scholtz, M. Byrne, and E. J. Warrant, "Lunar orientation in a beetle," Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 271, 361-365 (2004).
[CrossRef]

M. Dacke, D. E. Nilsson, C. H. Scholtz, M. Byrne, and E. J. Warrant, "Insect orientation to polarized moonlight," Nature 424, 33 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Petzold, J.

T. Labhart, J. Petzold, and H. Helbling, "Spatial integration in polarization-sensitive interneurones of crickets: a survey of evidence, mechanisms and benefits," J. Exp. Biol. 204, 2423-2430 (2001).
[PubMed]

Pfeifer, R.

D. Lambrinos, R. Möller, T. Labhart, R. Pfeifer, and R. Wehner, "A mobile robot employing insect strategies for navigation," Rob. Auton. Syst. 30, 39-64 (2000).
[CrossRef]

D. Lambrinos, H. Kobayashi, R. Pfeifer, M. Maris, T. Labhart, and R. Wehner, "An autonomous agent navigating with a polarized light compass," Adaptive Behav. 6, 131-161 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Pomozi, I.

I. Pomozi, G. Horváth, and R. Wehner, "How the clear-sky angle of polarization pattern continues underneath clouds: full-sky measurements and implications for animal orientation," J. Exp. Biol. 204, 2933-2942 (2001).
[PubMed]

Ribi, W.

E. J. Warrant, A. Kelber, A. Gislen, B. Greiner, W. Ribi, and W. Wcislo, "Nocturnal vision and landmark orientation in a tropical halictid bee," Curr. Biol. 14, 1309-1318 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Ribi, W. A.

B. Greiner, W. A. Ribi, and E. J. Warrant, "Retinal and optical adaptations for nocturnal vision in the halictid bee Megalopta genalis," Cell Tissue Res. 316, 377-390 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Rossel, S.

S. Rossel, "Polarization sensitivity in compound eyes," in Facets of Vision, D.G.Stavenga and R.C.Hardie, eds. (Springer-Verlag, 1989), pp. 298-316.
[CrossRef]

Scholtz, C. H.

M. Dacke, D. E. Nilsson, C. H. Scholtz, M. Byrne, and E. J. Warrant, "Lunar orientation in a beetle," Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 271, 361-365 (2004).
[CrossRef]

M. Dacke, D. E. Nilsson, C. H. Scholtz, M. Byrne, and E. J. Warrant, "Insect orientation to polarized moonlight," Nature 424, 33 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Shashar, N.

T. W. Cronin, N. Shashar, R. L. Caldwell, J. Marshall, A. G. Cheroske, and T. H. Chiou, "Polarization vision and its role in biological signaling," Integr. Comp. Biol. 43, 549-558 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Varjú, D.

G. Horváth and D. Varjú, Polarized Light in Animal Vision (Springer-Verlag, 2004).

Voss, K. J.

Warrant, E. J.

T. W. Cronin, E. J. Warrant, and B. Greiner, "Polarization patterns of the twilight sky," in Polarization Science and Remote Sensing II, J. A. Shaw and J. S. Tyo, eds., Proc. SPIE 5888, 204-211 (2005).

B. Greiner, W. A. Ribi, and E. J. Warrant, "Retinal and optical adaptations for nocturnal vision in the halictid bee Megalopta genalis," Cell Tissue Res. 316, 377-390 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

E. J. Warrant, A. Kelber, A. Gislen, B. Greiner, W. Ribi, and W. Wcislo, "Nocturnal vision and landmark orientation in a tropical halictid bee," Curr. Biol. 14, 1309-1318 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. Dacke, D. E. Nilsson, C. H. Scholtz, M. Byrne, and E. J. Warrant, "Lunar orientation in a beetle," Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 271, 361-365 (2004).
[CrossRef]

M. Dacke, D. E. Nilsson, C. H. Scholtz, M. Byrne, and E. J. Warrant, "Insect orientation to polarized moonlight," Nature 424, 33 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Wcislo, W.

E. J. Warrant, A. Kelber, A. Gislen, B. Greiner, W. Ribi, and W. Wcislo, "Nocturnal vision and landmark orientation in a tropical halictid bee," Curr. Biol. 14, 1309-1318 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Wehner, R.

I. Pomozi, G. Horváth, and R. Wehner, "How the clear-sky angle of polarization pattern continues underneath clouds: full-sky measurements and implications for animal orientation," J. Exp. Biol. 204, 2933-2942 (2001).
[PubMed]

R. Wehner, "Polarization vision--a uniform sensory capacity?," J. Exp. Biol. 204, 2589-2596 (2001).
[PubMed]

J. Gál, G. Horváth, A. Barta, and R. Wehner, "Polarization of the moonlit clear night sky measured by full-sky imaging polarimetry at full moon: comparison of the polarization of moonlit and sunlit skies," J. Geophys. Res. , [Solid Earth] 106, 22647-22653 (2001).
[CrossRef]

D. Lambrinos, R. Möller, T. Labhart, R. Pfeifer, and R. Wehner, "A mobile robot employing insect strategies for navigation," Rob. Auton. Syst. 30, 39-64 (2000).
[CrossRef]

D. Lambrinos, H. Kobayashi, R. Pfeifer, M. Maris, T. Labhart, and R. Wehner, "An autonomous agent navigating with a polarized light compass," Adaptive Behav. 6, 131-161 (1997).
[CrossRef]

R. Wehner, "The ant's celestial compass system: spectral and polarizational channels," in Orientation and Communication in Arthropods, M. Lehrer, ed. (Birkhäuser-Verlag, 1997), pp. 145-185.
[CrossRef]

Wolff, L. B.

L. B. Wolff and A. G. Andreou, "Polarization camera sensors," Image Vis. Comput. 13, 497-510 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Adaptive Behav. (1)

D. Lambrinos, H. Kobayashi, R. Pfeifer, M. Maris, T. Labhart, and R. Wehner, "An autonomous agent navigating with a polarized light compass," Adaptive Behav. 6, 131-161 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Opt. (2)

Cell Tissue Res. (1)

B. Greiner, W. A. Ribi, and E. J. Warrant, "Retinal and optical adaptations for nocturnal vision in the halictid bee Megalopta genalis," Cell Tissue Res. 316, 377-390 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Curr. Biol. (1)

E. J. Warrant, A. Kelber, A. Gislen, B. Greiner, W. Ribi, and W. Wcislo, "Nocturnal vision and landmark orientation in a tropical halictid bee," Curr. Biol. 14, 1309-1318 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Image Vis. Comput. (1)

L. B. Wolff and A. G. Andreou, "Polarization camera sensors," Image Vis. Comput. 13, 497-510 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Integr. Comp. Biol. (1)

T. W. Cronin, N. Shashar, R. L. Caldwell, J. Marshall, A. G. Cheroske, and T. H. Chiou, "Polarization vision and its role in biological signaling," Integr. Comp. Biol. 43, 549-558 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Exp. Biol. (3)

R. Wehner, "Polarization vision--a uniform sensory capacity?," J. Exp. Biol. 204, 2589-2596 (2001).
[PubMed]

T. Labhart, J. Petzold, and H. Helbling, "Spatial integration in polarization-sensitive interneurones of crickets: a survey of evidence, mechanisms and benefits," J. Exp. Biol. 204, 2423-2430 (2001).
[PubMed]

I. Pomozi, G. Horváth, and R. Wehner, "How the clear-sky angle of polarization pattern continues underneath clouds: full-sky measurements and implications for animal orientation," J. Exp. Biol. 204, 2933-2942 (2001).
[PubMed]

J. Geophys. Res. (1)

J. Gál, G. Horváth, A. Barta, and R. Wehner, "Polarization of the moonlit clear night sky measured by full-sky imaging polarimetry at full moon: comparison of the polarization of moonlit and sunlit skies," J. Geophys. Res. , [Solid Earth] 106, 22647-22653 (2001).
[CrossRef]

J. Theor. Biol. (1)

A. Barta and G. Horváth, "Why is it advantageous for animals to detect celestial polarization in the ultraviolet? Skylight polarization under clouds and canopies is strongest in the UV," J. Theor. Biol. 226, 429-437 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Nature (1)

M. Dacke, D. E. Nilsson, C. H. Scholtz, M. Byrne, and E. J. Warrant, "Insect orientation to polarized moonlight," Nature 424, 33 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

New J. Phys. (1)

M. V. Berry, M. R. Dennis, and R. L. Lee, Jr., "Polarization singularities in the clear sky," New J. Phys. 6, 162 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Proc. R. Soc. London (1)

M. Dacke, D. E. Nilsson, C. H. Scholtz, M. Byrne, and E. J. Warrant, "Lunar orientation in a beetle," Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 271, 361-365 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Proc. SPIE (2)

T.-H. Chiou, T. W. Cronin, R. L. Caldwell, and J. Marshall, "Biological polarized light reflectors in stomatopod crustaceans," in Polarization Science and Remote Sensing II, J. A. Shaw and J. S. Tyo, eds., Proc. SPIE 5888, 380-388 (2005).

T. W. Cronin, E. J. Warrant, and B. Greiner, "Polarization patterns of the twilight sky," in Polarization Science and Remote Sensing II, J. A. Shaw and J. S. Tyo, eds., Proc. SPIE 5888, 204-211 (2005).

Rob. Auton. Syst. (1)

D. Lambrinos, R. Möller, T. Labhart, R. Pfeifer, and R. Wehner, "A mobile robot employing insect strategies for navigation," Rob. Auton. Syst. 30, 39-64 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Other (5)

G. Horváth and D. Varjú, Polarized Light in Animal Vision (Springer-Verlag, 2004).

K. L. Coulson, Polarization and Intensity of Light in the Atmosphere (Deepak, 1988).

R. Wehner, "The ant's celestial compass system: spectral and polarizational channels," in Orientation and Communication in Arthropods, M. Lehrer, ed. (Birkhäuser-Verlag, 1997), pp. 145-185.
[CrossRef]

S. Rossel, "Polarization sensitivity in compound eyes," in Facets of Vision, D.G.Stavenga and R.C.Hardie, eds. (Springer-Verlag, 1989), pp. 298-316.
[CrossRef]

A. J. Helbig, "Depolarization of natural skylight disrupts orientation of an avian nocturnal migrant, "Experientia 46, 755-758 (1990).

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Figures (5)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Linear polarization of the sky at sunset and during evening twilight. Full-sky images were acquired using a Nikon Coolpix 5700 digital camera with a fisheye lens attachment having a linear polarizing filter mounted between the lens and the camera itself, and polarization series of images were acquired as described in the text. Spectrally integrated data were acquired on 15 September 2004 at Lizard Island, Australia (sunset, 1814; limit of astronomical twilight, 1925; local time is Universal Time + 10   h ). Each image is labeled with the local time at which data were acquired as well as the solar elevation, h 0. In all panels, the zenith is in the center, N is to the top, and E to the left. The top set of images are original digital photographs acquired when the polarizing filter was oriented E–W (indicated by the double-headed arrow), emphasizing the dark band of N–S e-vector orientation. The middle set shows analyzed % polarization ( P L ) in false color, encoded as displayed in the key to the right. The bottom set indicates e-vector angle, also in false color as coded in the key to the right. The odd color patterns seen in some of the images depicting % polarization or e-vector angle are caused by clouds moving between images in original sets of exposures.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Linear polarization of the sky during morning twilight. Images are from analyzed data acquired on 19 September 2004 at Lizard Island and show the spectrally integrated P L as coded in the key on the right. Time of sunrise, 0610; astronomical twilight, 0459 (local time is Universal Time + 10   h ). Images are labeled with the local time when data were acquired, as well as the solar elevation, h 0 . Note that the strong N–S pattern of polarization, peaking near 50 % polarized, appears around 0520 ( h 0 = 13.0 ° ) , almost an hour before sunrise. The pattern remains stable throughout the rest of the series.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Celestial linear polarization patterns near their first and last appearances. These spectrally integrated photographs were taken before sunrise on 23 September 2004 (time of sunrise: 0607; astronomical twilight, 0456; local time is Universal Time + 10   h ) and after sunset on 24 September 2005 (time of sunset, 1814; astronomical twilight, 1925) at Lizard Island, Australia, with a polarizing filter oriented E–W. They have been strongly contrast enhanced to show the band of relative darkness running N–S across the sky as photographed during its first (last) appearance. Intensity in the image has not been quantitated, and this figure is intended to illustrate the very limits of visible patterns of skylight polarization in the twilight sky (compare to the top panel of Fig. 1). In all panels, the zenith is in the center, N is to the top and E to the left. In the right panel, the Milky Way is brightly visible overhead and zodiacal light extends upward from the position of the Sun in the west. The bright patch in the SE is caused by artificial lights of the research station.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Polarization spectra of the predawn sky. These data were collected before dawn on 17 April 2004 at Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Dawn, 0606; astronomical twilight, 0457 (local time is Universal Time 5   h ). The local time of measurement is given on each panel, as is the solar elevation, h 0 . Note that the polarization spectrum was fairly constant from the first time when measurements were possible, showing a gradual increase in P L from about 60 % at 350   nm to about 75 % at 750   nm . Noise levels in the data, particularly at long and short wavelengths, decrease with time as light levels increased.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Appearances of objects and atmospheric conditions in the predawn sky. Spectrally integrated images were collected before dawn, at 0540 on 17 April 2004 at Barro Colorado Island, Panama (local time is Universal Time 5   h ). Dawn, 0606; astronomical twilight, 0457; solar elevation h 0 : 7.7 ° . Images are centered on the zenith; north is to the top, east to the left. The panel to the left (I) shows intensity. The right panel (P) shows P L , with greater brightness indicating higher % polarization. Both panels are strongly contrast enhanced to emphasize small variations, and do not show P L (right) or actual intensity (left) quantitatively; however, both intensity and P L increase with image brightness. The white arrow indicates the star Altair, seen as a bright (luminous) point in the intensity image and a dark (depolarized) point in the polarization image. The black arrow shows a patch of cloud faintly visible in the intensity image and obvious as a dark blotch in the polarization image. A number of other patches of haze are visible in the polarization image as darker patches, but these are difficult or impossible to see in the intensity image.

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