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  ABDNP201404a02.JPG - Smithsonian Silver-disk Pyreheliometer The pyreheliometer is designed to measure the total solar radiation reaching ground level.  This power density is a central issue in global warming debates.  It is also relevant to solar power electrical generation, the effect of clouds on climate and more.  The remarkable constancy of the Sun necessitates a sophisticated instrument, if variations are going to be measured.   The Smithsonian Institution developed such an instrument in the 1920s and the King's College observatory purchased this example.  A historic photograph exists showing the pyreheliometer in use on the observatory roof during the total eclipse of the Sun in 1927, though totality was reached in Britain only further south than Aberdeen. ABDNP:201404a  
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18 | Smithsonian Silver-disk Pyreheliometer

The pyreheliometer is designed to measure the total solar radiation reaching ground level. This power density is a central issue in global warming debates. It is also relevant to solar power electrical generation, the effect of clouds on climate and more. The remarkable constancy of the Sun necessitates a sophisticated instrument, if variations are going to be measured.

The Smithsonian Institution developed such an instrument in the 1920s and the King's College observatory purchased this example. A historic photograph exists showing the pyreheliometer in use on the observatory roof during the total eclipse of the Sun in 1927, though totality was reached in Britain only further south than Aberdeen.

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