Lunar Corona over Death Valley

August 30, 2021


Photographer: Arpan Das 
Summary Authors: Arpan Das; Jim Foster

This superb lunar corona was visible in Death Valley, California, one evening earlier this summer. The colorful rings, which add a little verve to the drab surrounds of Death Valley, could be observed with the naked eye. Coronas may be seen whenever mid-level clouds, composed of minute water droplets, are in the vicinity of the Moon or Sun. Diffraction of sunlight by the droplets results in the colored rings. Note that the gibbous Moon was slightly overexposed here in order to draw out the pastel colored rings.

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