Circular Polarization of Sunlight Reflected by Clouds

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  • 1 Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, N.Y.
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Abstract

Measurements of circular polarization of visible light from planets have recently been reported. It is pointed out here that the values measured for the circular polarization for Jupiter and Venus are of the magnitude expected for sunlight reflected by a cloudy planetary atmosphere. The variations of the sense of the polarization with phase angle and with location on the planetary disk are also consistent with expectations for reflection by clouds.

Abstract

Measurements of circular polarization of visible light from planets have recently been reported. It is pointed out here that the values measured for the circular polarization for Jupiter and Venus are of the magnitude expected for sunlight reflected by a cloudy planetary atmosphere. The variations of the sense of the polarization with phase angle and with location on the planetary disk are also consistent with expectations for reflection by clouds.

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