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Corona around the Moon
Imaged by Elias Chasiotis at Markopoulo, Greece on 19th March 2008. ©Elias Chasiotis, shown with permission.

Thin clouds veil a moon surrounded by a pale aureole of light red-brown/straw coloured at its edge. Beyond the aureole are one, two or at most three multicoloured rings. As the clouds move the whole apparition shrinks and grows with the changing size of their water droplets.

This image shows the corona perfectly, its colours and the delicacy and relative brightness of the rings.

Near equal sized cloud droplets are needed to produce such a corona. Light waves scattered by each droplet interfere constructively and destructively to produce the large diffraction pattern in the sky.

Corona   Formation   Droplets & light