Abstract

Elliptical halos and Bottlinger’s rings are simulated by the use of a Monte Carlo algorithm that includes multiple scattering. High multiple reflections are required to obtain a sufficient brightness of the elliptical halos. By introducing three populations of nearly horizontal, gyrating, and swinging crystals, we obtain good agreement for four photographs of displays with ringlike and disklike structures. Through model experiments on the aerodynamical behavior of crystals, we find a new interpretation of the three populations. In this view elliptical halos and Bottlinger’s rings occur in the transition region of ice plates with broad branches and stellar crystals at temperatures near −15 °C and large supersaturations. This interpretation is supported by a review of 23 reports of elliptical halo phenomena by members of the Finnish Halo Observers Network.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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