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optical air mass

A measure of the optical path length for light traveling from the sun or other celestial source through Earth's atmosphere to sea-level relative to the optical path length traveled by light from the same source at the zenith.Optical air mass is a significant factor when astronomical measurements are made of the same source if the source has changed position in the sky. The optical air mass is also significant when dealing with solar measurements in the sense that this quantity is used to help characterize the solar spectrum after radiation from the sun has traveled through the atmosphere, as well as characterizing the performance of solar cells.
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