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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 38, Iss. 9 — Mar. 20, 1999
  • pp: 1626–1629

How big should hexagonal ice crystals be to produce halos?

Michael I. Mishchenko and Andreas Macke  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 38, Issue 9, pp. 1626-1629 (1999)

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It has been hypothesized that the frequent lack of halos in observations of cirrus and contrails and laboratory measurements is caused by small ice crystal sizes that put the particles outside the geometrical optics domain of size parameters. We test this hypothesis by exploiting a strong similarity of ray tracing phase functions for finite hexagonal and circular ice cylinders and using T-matrix computations of electromagnetic scattering by circular cylinders with size parameters up to 180 in the visible. We conclude that well-defined halos should be observable for ice crystal size parameters of the order of 100 and larger and discuss remote-sensing implications of this result.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.0010) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric and oceanic optics
(010.1290) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric optics
(010.1310) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric scattering
(010.2940) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Ice crystal phenomena
(080.0080) Geometric optics : Geometric optics
(280.0280) Remote sensing and sensors : Remote sensing and sensors
(290.0290) Scattering : Scattering

Original Manuscript: July 1, 1998
Revised Manuscript: December 14, 1998
Published: March 20, 1999

Michael I. Mishchenko and Andreas Macke, "How big should hexagonal ice crystals be to produce halos?," Appl. Opt. 38, 1626-1629 (1999)

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