Light, Like Angel Wings

March 13, 2023

Ormefoto - la luce

Photographer: Orazio Mezzio  
Summary Author: Orazio Mezzio  

One night earlier this winter while I was photographing the constellation of Orion, I turned from time to time to check the progression of the rising Moon. I had the sense that a shadow was approaching our natural satellite, and when I looked again, I was rewarded by the appearance of a colorful angel wing to the side of the Moon as well as by rings about the Moon itself.

On this mid-winter’s night, clouds were moving quickly across the sky. Then, suddenly, and only for a few seconds, a veil of thin clouds overlapped the Moon and colored the sky. The 'angel wing' in the photo is an iridescent cloud, and the rings are a portion of the lunar corona. Both are diffraction phenomenon. Minute water droplets in the vicinity of the lunar disk act in such a way to scatter (diffract) its light, unlike ice crystals which refract light. Photo taken on December 28, 2022, from Lake Trearie, Italy.

Photo details: Nikon D750 camera; Signa 150-600 mm lens; 300 mm; f/6.3; 0.80 second exposure; ISO 6400.

Lake Trearie, Sicily, Italy Coordinates: 37.9532, 14.8404

Related Links:

Lunar Corona Above the Rocca del Brunelleschi