Solar Corona Observed in Fog at Nags Head, North Carolina

February 02, 2021


Photographer: Rob Bruner 
Summary Author: Rob Bruner 

While visiting the Outer Banks of North Carolina one day this past November, the weather was very foggy throughout the morning and into the afternoon. However, by midafternoon, the fog began to break up, and the Sun was partially visible, but then the fog quickly rolled back in, considerably reducing the visibility over Currituck Sound. As the fog reappeared, I could see a corona around the Sun, and then noticed its reflection near the shoreline. Fog is composed of water droplets that act to deflect (diffraction process) light rather than reflect and refract it, as with raindrops, which may be up to 1,000 times smaller in diameter. Note that smaller droplets tend to result in larger diffraction angles and thus a larger corona. Make sure to protect your eyes when looking in the direction of the Sun. Photo taken on November 26, 2020.

Photo Details: Camera: Apple iPhone 11; Software: PaintShop Pro 22.00; Exposure Time: 0.0001s (1/18868); Aperture: ƒ/1.8; ISO equivalent: 40; Focal Length (35mm): 26