Digital all-sky polarization imaging of the total solar eclipse on 21 August 2017 in Rexburg, Idaho, USA


All-sky polarization images were measured from sunrise to sunset and during a cloud-free totality on 21 August 2017 in Rexburg, Idaho using two digital three-camera all-sky polarimeters and a time-sequential liquid-crystal-based all-sky polarimeter. Twenty-five polarimetric images were recorded during totality, revealing a highly dynamic evolution of the distribution of skylight polarization, with the degree of linear polarization becoming nearly zenith-symmetric by the end of totality. The surrounding environment was characterized with an infrared cloud imager that confirmed the complete absence of clouds during totality, an AERONET solar radiometer that measured aerosol properties, a portable weather station, and a hand-held spectrometer with satellite images that measured surface reflectance at and near the observation site. These observations confirm that previously observed totality patterns are general and not unique to those specific eclipses. The high temporal image resolution revealed a transition of a neutral point from the zenith in totality to the normal Babinet point just above the Sun after third contact, providing the first indication that the transition between totality and normal daytime polarization patterns occurs over of a time period of approximately 13 s.




Eshelman, Laura M., Martin Jan Tauc, Taiga Hashimoto, Kendra Gillis, William Weiss, Bryan Stanley, Preston Hooser, Glenn E. Shaw, and Joseph A. Shaw. “Digital All-Sky Polarization Imaging of the Total Solar Eclipse on 21 August 2017 in Rexburg, Idaho, USA.” Applied Optics 59, no. 21 (June 10, 2020): F41. doi:10.1364/ao.391736.
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