Skip to main content


A better future

through education, skill development and research


How Surface Roughness Affects the Light-Scattering Properties of Ice Crystals

Monday, April 22, 2013 8:08 am EDT

The size and shape of ice crystals are known to affect the light scattering properties of clouds; with implications for both weather and climate. Less known, however, is how the roughness of ice crystals impacts light scattering.

Research in the Journal of Geophysical Research reveals a new method for growing and manipulating ice crystals in a laboratory, which allows for analysis of their roughness. The team defined a measure of roughness and described a method for inferring its value. The research shows that that the 22-degree halo effect—a halo seen around the Sun or other light source when light is refracted by hexagonal ice crystals—still occurs even when these crystals have rough prismatic facets.



Business Wire NewsHQsm