First confirmation that water ice is the primary component of polar mesospheric clouds

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Abstract

Polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs) have been measured in the infrared for the first time by the Halogen Occultation Experiment (HALOE). PMC extinctions retrieved from measurements at eight wavelengths show remarkable agreement with model spectra based on ice particle extinction. The infrared spectrum of ice has a unique signature, and the HALOE-model agreement thus provides the first physical confirmation that water ice is the primary component of PMCs. PMC particle effective radii were estimated from the HALOE extinctions based on a first order fit of model extinctions.

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