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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 50, Iss. 28 — Oct. 1, 2011
  • pp: F6–F11

Icy wave-cloud lunar corona and cirrus iridescence

Joseph A. Shaw and Nathan J. Pust  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 50, Issue 28, pp. F6-F11 (2011)

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Dual-polarization lidar data and radiosonde data are used to determine that iridescence in cirrus and a lunar corona in a thin wave cloud were caused by tiny ice crystals, not droplets of liquid water. The size of the corona diffraction rings recorded in photographs is used to estimate the mean diameter of the diffracting particles to be 14.6 μm , much smaller than conventional ice crystals. The iridescent cloud was located at the tropopause [ 11 13.6 km above mean sea level (ASL)] with temperature near 70 ° C , while the more optically pure corona was located at approximately 9.5 km ASL with temperature nearing 60 ° C . Lidar cross-polarization ratios of 0.5 and 0.4 confirm that ice formed both the iridescence and the corona, respectively.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1290) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric optics
(010.2940) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Ice crystal phenomena
(010.3640) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Lidar
(290.1090) Scattering : Aerosol and cloud effects
(280.4788) Remote sensing and sensors : Optical sensing and sensors
(290.5855) Scattering : Scattering, polarization

Original Manuscript: June 29, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: July 12, 2011
Published: August 12, 2011

Joseph A. Shaw and Nathan J. Pust, "Icy wave-cloud lunar corona and cirrus iridescence," Appl. Opt. 50, F6-F11 (2011)

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