Abstract

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

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