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The general name for any instrument used to measure the intensity of radiant energy, particularly that of the sun. See actinometry. See also bolometer,

dosimeter, photometer, radiometer.
Actinometers may be classified, according to the quantities which they measure, in the following manner: (a) pyrheliometer, which measures the intensity of direct solar radiation; (b) pyranometer, which measure global radiation (the combined intensity of direct solar radiation and diffuse sky radiation); and (c) pyrgeometer, which measures the effective terrestrial radiation.


This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use