Micrometer-sized ice particles for planetary-science experiments – II. Bidirectional reflectance

Jost, Bernhard; Gundlach, Bastian; Pommerol, Antoine; Oesert, Joachim; Gorb, Stanislav N.; Blum, Jürgen; Thomas, Nicolas (2013). Micrometer-sized ice particles for planetary-science experiments – II. Bidirectional reflectance. Icarus, 225(1), pp. 352-366. Elsevier 10.1016/j.icarus.2013.04.007

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We have measured the bidirectional reflectance of spherical micrometer-sized water-ice particles in the visible spectral range over a wide range of incidence and emission angles. The small ice spheres were produced by spraying fine water droplets directly into liquid nitrogen. The resulting mean particle radii are 1.47 + 0.96 - 0.58 μm. Such a material shares many properties with ice in comets and at the surface of icy satellites. Measurements show that the fresh sample material is highly backscattering, contrasting with natural terrestrial snow and frost. The formation of agglomerates of particles during the sample production results in a noticeable variability of the photometric properties of the samples in their initial state. We have also observed significant temporal evolutions of the scattering behavior of the samples, shifting towards more forward scattering within some tens of hours, resulting most likely from sintering processes. All reflectance data are fitted by the Hapke photometric model (1993 and 2002 formulation) with a one/two/three-parameter Henyey-Greenstein phase function and the resulting Hapke parameters are provided. These parameters can be used to compare laboratory results with the observed photometric behaviors of astronomical objects. We show, in particular, that the optical properties of the fresh micrometer-sized ice samples can be used to reproduce the predominant backscattering in the phase curves of Enceladus and Europa.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Jost, Bernhard; Pommerol, Antoine and Thomas, Nicolas


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering
500 Science > 530 Physics








Cléa Serpollier

Date Deposited:

14 Aug 2014 10:01

Last Modified:

08 Oct 2015 09:29

Publisher DOI:






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