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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 69, Iss. 8 — Aug. 1, 1979
  • pp: 1119–1122

Frequency analysis of the circumzenithal arc: Evidence for the oscillation of ice-crystal plates in the upper atmosphere

Robin S. McDowell  »View Author Affiliations


JOSA, Vol. 69, Issue 8, pp. 1119-1122 (1979)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSA.69.001119


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Abstract

The results of a quantitative treatment of the visibility of the circumzenithal arc as a function of solar elevation are compared with records of the arc’s occurrence in France and the Netherlands, 1894–1931. Both calculated and observed frequency distributions peak at a solar elevation of 22° (minimum deviation), and the width of the observed frequency distribution can be closely matched with the assumption that plate ice crystals in quiet air undergo oscillations of around 1° from equilibrium. This result agrees with other estimates based on studies of the subsun and parhelic circle. The circumzenithal arc is shown to be vertically polarized, with Ivert̸Ihor≍ 1.4 in the solar vertical near minimum deviation.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

Citation
Robin S. McDowell, "Frequency analysis of the circumzenithal arc: Evidence for the oscillation of ice-crystal plates in the upper atmosphere," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 1119-1122 (1979)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josa/abstract.cfm?URI=josa-69-8-1119

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