Lunar Corona from Mauna Kea

May 26, 2008


Provided by: David Harrington, University of Hawaii, Institute for Astronomy
Summary authors & editors: David Harrington, Jim Foster 

The photo above showing an astounding lunar corona was taken at the summit of Mauna Kea Observatory on December 23, 2007. A stratus cloud deck was coming up the summit ridge and cresting over the telescopes -- as a thin layer of fog. Coronae occur around the Sun and Moon and result from the interference of light deflected (process of diffraction) around the outside of water droplets -- smaller droplets produce larger rings. Note that the rings progress outward in a series of repeating colors. The disk of the nearly full Moon here has been intentionally blocked out.