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Rea, M. S., & Bierman, A. (2014). Spectral considerations for outdoor lighting: Consequences for sky glow. Lighting Res. & Tech., 47(8), 920–930.
Abstract: It is well known that the magnitude of sky glow on a clear night depends upon the aerosol content in the atmosphere and the spectral power distribution (amount and spectrum). Sources with a greater proportion of short-wavelength radiation produce more backscattered radiation, but as aerosol density increases, the differential effect of spectrum becomes smaller. Sky glow magnitude also depends upon the operating characteristics of the detector and will be greater when the spectrum of the backscattered radiation is tuned to the spectral band-pass characteristics of the detector. The human visual system is most often used to assess sky glow magnitude, but its spectral response is not limited to a single, univariate detector. Rather, the retina is composed of many neural channels, each with its own spectral and absolute sensitivities to optical radiation. Since we can use a different neural channel to see an individual star than we do to gain an overall impression of sky brightness, changes to the spectral power distribution of backscattered radiation differentially, and simultaneously, affect oneâs ability to see a single star and to assess sky brightness. A general method for assessing sky glow based upon aerosol content, spectral power distribution and the specific operating characteristics of a detector, human or otherwise, is offered.