Image clarity, which reflects the sharpness degree at the edge of objects in images, is an important quality evaluate index for optical remote sensing images. Scholars at home and abroad have done a lot of work on estimation of image clarity. At present, common clarity-estimation methods for digital images mainly include frequency-domain function methods, statistical parametric methods, gradient function methods and edge acutance methods. Frequency-domain function method is an accurate clarity-measure approach. However, its calculation process is complicate and cannot be carried out automatically. Statistical parametric methods and gradient function methods are both sensitive to clarity of images, while their results are easy to be affected by the complex degree of images. Edge acutance method is an effective approach for clarity estimate, while it needs picking out the edges manually. Due to the limits in accuracy, consistent or automation, these existing methods are not applicable to quality evaluation of optical remote sensing images. In this article, a new clarity-evaluation method, which is based on the principle of edge acutance algorithm, is proposed. In the new method, edge detection algorithm and gradient search algorithm are adopted to automatically search the object edges in images. Moreover, The calculation algorithm for edge sharpness has been improved. The new method has been tested with several groups of optical remote sensing images. Compared with the existing automatic evaluation methods, the new method perform better both in accuracy and consistency. Thus, the new method is an effective clarity evaluation method for optical remote sensing images.