Moonlight Diffraction

September 07, 2014


Photographer: Douglas Stith; Doug's Web site
Summary Author: Douglas Stith

This unusual photo of the waxing, gibbous Moon was taken from Concord, New Hampshire. The array of colors resulted when I held a diffraction grating in front of the camera lens. Moonlight (reflected sunlight) is a white light source -- it contains all colors of the rainbow mixed together. The diffraction grating acts to separate the white light into its component colors. Thus we see the colors of the rainbow in order of their wavelength, with red the longest and violet the shortest. Photo taken with my iPad on July 5, 2014.

Photo details: Camera Maker: Apple; Camera Model: iPad; Lens: Apple; Focal Length: 4.3mm (35mm equivalent: 42mm); Digital Zoom: 1.196x; Aperture: f/2.4; Exposure Time: 0.067 s (1/15); ISO equiv: 800.