Abstract

The finite spatial coherence width of sunlight at the Earth imposes restrictions on the production of scattering phenomena based on the interference of light waves. With the spatial coherence properties of sunlight taken into account, the visibility of the supernumerary rainbow sequence adjacent to the primary rainbow and the radii of the water droplets that produce the optimum glory intensity were calculated. A substantial reduction was found in the contrast of all the supernumeraries beyond the first few, and the peak observability of the glory occurred for water droplets with radii between 10 and 20 μm.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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