Uranus: Ice Crystal Halo

Written by on November 27, 2009 in Learning with 0 Comments

 

Firstly, a very special thanks must go to Dr. Don Barry for all the background information he emailed me on ice halos. I would also like to extend a special thanks to Les Cowley and Michael Schroeder for their exceptional website (http://www.atoptics.co.uk/ ) on this topic and the use of their ‘HaloSim’ software which was instrumental in producing the concept of this methane ice crystal halo.

Last but definitely not least, thank you (again) science.ca for putting me in touch with these professional people, it is certainly a privilege to be given such direct contact with the scientific community. This experience has surely helped with my ‘creative explorations’ and the accuracy of my illustration. I am very thankful for everyone’s time and assistance.

Ice Halos are an atmospheric phenomena caused by the refraction of light through ice crystals in the atmosphere. Halos can also be seen on Earth, however they may appear differently due to the specific atmospheric conditions on this planet. 

Uranus has Methane ice crystals high in it’s atmosphere. The crystals shape (octahedron) and altitude of the Sun help determine how the halo is formed.

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