Defined as the greatest distance at which a black object of suitable dimensions can be seen and recognized against the horizon sky, or, in the case of night observations, could be seen and recognized if the general illumination were raised to the normal daylight level. The criterion of recognizing the object, not just seeing the object without recognition, is used. Transmissometers, telephotometers and sun photometers are devices used to measure the degree of transmission of light. Nephelometers (integrating) are used to measure visibility by way of the light scattering from aerosols in the air mass.
PAC, 1990, 62, 2167. 'Glossary of atmospheric chemistry terms (Recommendations 1990)' on page 2218 (https://doi.org/10.1351/pac199062112167)