Abstract

The formation of the anthelion is discussed. Previous theories by Bravais, Humphreys and others are shown to be imcompatible with observation, or highly improbable. An explanation is set forth in which the anthelion is formed in common hexagonal columns with the c axis horizontal and with two side faces vertical. Light enters an upper oblique face, is reflected twice by the end and opposite vertical face, then emerges from the crystal through the lower oblique face on the same side of the crystal it entered. In agreement with the observations, this mechanism produces no anthelion when the solar elevation is greater than 46°.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

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