Field and Laboratory

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During a severe duststorm at Dallas, Texas, on March 17, 1935, the disk of the sun appeared deep blue in color. The dust of the storm was composed largely of small grains of quartz, floating in the atmosphere at a great height, perhaps 12,000 feet or more. Reports from the Dallas Airport Station indicated that the duststorms that came during the spring of 1935 often reached this height, and at times the ceiling was 13,500 feet. In western Texas and Oklahoma, these duststorms frequently produced high potential electrical charges in the atmosphere, causing sparks to be drawn from metal parts of cars and other metallic bodies. It is a well known fact that ozone, a blue colored gas found in the upper atmosphere, may be produced by electrical discharges through the air. The writer believes that the blue color of the disk of the sun, as seen on the above date, was due to an excess of ozone produced by high potential discharges incident to the duststorm.

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