Marvin sunshine recorder
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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