Marvin sunshine recorder

From Glossary of Meteorology



Marvin sunshine recorder

A sunshine recorder of the type in which the timescale is supplied by a chronograph.

It consists of two bulbs, one of which is blackened, that communicate through a glass tube of small diameter. The tube is partially filled with mercury and contains two electrical contacts. When the instrument is exposed to sunshine, the air in the blackened bulb is warmed more than that in the clear bulb. The warmed air expands and forces the mercury through the connecting tube to a point where the electrical contacts are shorted by the mercury. This completes the electrical circuit to the pen on the chronograph. The Marvin sunshine recorder is equally sensitive to the direct rays of the sun and to diffuse radiation from the sky (the heat from the latter at midday in overcast may be more than that from direct sunshine in the early morning); thus, the instrument is not without ambiguities. It is standard equipment at National Weather Service stations.


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