Wave optics of the central spot in planetary occultations

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Abstract

THE detection of a bright central spot1 during the occultation of ε Geminorum by Mars2 has demonstrated that an exponential planetary atmosphere can act as a lens with somewhat peculiar properties. In the course of a general study of certain wave-optical phenomena in planetary occultations, we have carried out an investigation into the diffraction nature of the central spot, which has not been previously considered in occultation theory. Some of the results are presented in this letter, along with implications for possible future experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-35
Number of pages2
JournalNature
Volume268
Issue number5615
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1977

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