Cloud Corona Over the Netherlands

August 23, 2008

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Provided and Copyright by: Jurgen de Boer
Summary Author and Editor: Jim Foster, Jurgen de Boer

The photo above shows colorful cloud corona over Amersfoort, Netherlands. On the morning of March 3, 2008, I was driving to work and, just before I arrived, I noticed this iridescent cloud display as the Sun rose above the horizon (7:58 a.m.). Cloud coronae are diffraction phenomenon, which result from the interference of sunlight or moonlight about water droplets. Smaller droplets cause larger diffraction angles and a larger corona. A cloud corona is occasionally mistaken for a rainbow; however, coronae form in the vicinity of the Sun, whereas rainbows form only at the antisolar point.