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Polarimetry of a 22° halo

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Abstract

The linear polarization and intensity of a 22° halo has been measured simultaneously at seven wavelengths as of scattering angle. The polarization pattern is found to be dominated by a narrow peak centered a function halo angle. The amount of polarization in this peak is much higher than expected from Fresnel at the alone. The observations are explained with a birefringence–diffraction halo polarization model. refraction of the hexagonal face of the halo-generating crystals is found to be 41 and 54 μm for two The effective diameter separate scans. An independent single-wavelength parhelion observation indicates a stronger birefringence in an even smaller angular scattering range and a crystal diameter of 220 μm. Crystal sizes peak concentrated derived from the halo intensity distributions are found to be consistent with those obtained from polarization. The data demonstrate the power of halo polarimetry as a tool for detection and identification of birefringent crystals in terrestrial or extraterrestrial atmospheres.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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