Abstract

The scattering phase function and the degree of linear polarization for small crystals oriented randomly in space have been computed using the geometric ray tracing theory and assuming that the crystals are homogeneous and isotropic. Calculations have been carried out for the main crystal geometries. Detection of halos from crystals other than hexagonal water ice is briefly discussed. The crystal size and shape parameters have also been averaged over some simple distributions in order to examine general light scattering properties of sharp-edged particles. A scalar physical optics correction has been developed for the geometric optics phase functions. Results can be applied to light scattering from regoliths and planetary rings, and possibly also to atmospheric halos. Retroreflecting crystals in the regolith would cause an opposition spike, a phenomenon observed for many bright satellites.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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