Monday, 29 February 2016

Wegener or Hastings?

This spotlight display that was photographed in Rovaniemi on the night of 5/6 January rises the question of whether it is Wegener or Hastings arc or both together that is seen here. From the outset, as there is helic arc but no subhelic arc one could argue that it is rather the uppervex Hastings arc.

When comparing with simulations (below) it does not look that obvious anymore. The curvature and extent of the arc looks more akin to Wegener than Hastings (the side view image). And it is possible to simulate Wegener without subhelic arc by using thin plates in column orientation. Indeed, to have best agreement with the images, in all simulations thin plates were used both in Parry and column orientation.
In the image on the left the crystal h/d is 0.1 for all simulations. In the one on the right it is h/d 0.03 for rotations of 0.5 and 5 degrees, for full rotation simulation h/d 0.1 was used. Crystals are triangular, oriented in Parry orientation so that the tip is pointing up.
Well, none of these simulations come out satisfying. The light source elevation for simulations is -5 degrees.
Marko Riikonen / Nicolas Lefaudeux
– added one more image with simulation containing both Wegener and Hastings

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