Arctic Refraction Study

by Gerald W. Johnson, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Surveying and Mapping Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 1, Pg. 1-7

Document Type: Journal Paper


Atmospheric refraction corrections applied to observed zenith angles have long been considered the largest source of error in polar astronomic observations. The use of radiosonde data offers the possibility of overcoming restrictions imposed by the polar environment and of establishing the reliability of existing refraction tables for use in the Arctic. Solar observations taken during a 2-week period from a camp on the northeast coast of Ellesmere Island, Canada, are used to establish the correlation between actual refraction and refraction calculated from radiosonde data. Analysis of data for a 6-week summer period shows the refraction to be both stable and in substantial agreement with the published tables of Garfinkel.

Subject Headings: Data analysis | Astronomy | Islands | Correlation | Arctic | Canada

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