Las Vegas Sunset Corona

March 09, 2005


Provided and copyright by: Judy A Mosby
Summary authors & editors: Judy A Mosby

Late in the afternoon of April 13, 2004, I was driving into Las Vegas, Nevada from the north and had a nice view of the antisolar light playing on the buildings of the "strip." When I glanced to my right at the setting Sun, I saw a most impressive solar corona -- I pulled out of traffic and grabbed for my camera. Coronae are colored concentric rings circling within a few degrees of the Sun or Moon and are caused by diffraction of light in water droplets. Tiny water droplets, or more rarely ice crystals in clouds, may impede light rays and produce interference rings. The size of the rings depends not only on the wavelength of light but on the size of the droplets or crystals - smaller droplets produce larger rings. Coronae colors progress from white in the middle (an aureole) to blue, green, yellow and red, and this series repeats outward for each successive ring. This photo has been slightly enhanced to bring out all the rings.

Photo details: Camera Nikon E4300, 0.006 sec (5/901) exposure, f/13.4 aperture, 24 mm focal length, 100 ISO Speed.

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