Abstract

During solar eclipses the sunlit tops of cloud layers and arctic sea ice near the umbra appear salmon–brown when viewed from airplanes or satellites. Under these conditions, the clouds and atmosphere are illuminated by light restricted to the solar limb, which has effective radiating temperatures as low as 4000 K. The resulting limb reddening largely accounts for the color. A second-order scattering model is used to simulate the color of photographs of cloud tops taken from a flight during the 21 August 2017 eclipse and MODIS Aqua and Terra satellite “true color” images during the 2 July 2019 eclipse. These observed color changes provide data that has potential value in determining the vertical temperature profile of the solar photosphere.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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