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Using the method of separation of variables and a new approach to calculations of the prolate spheroidal wave functions, we study the optical properties of very elongated (cigar-like) spheroidal particles. A comparison of extinction efficiency factors of prolate spheroids and infinitely long circular cylinders is made. For the normal and oblique incidence of radiation, the efficiency factors for spheroids converge to some limiting values with an increasing aspect ratio a/b provided particles ofdoi:10.1088/0957-0233/13/3/303 fatcat:vfesfjkjrjdhtcrsotgyvqcfji