Corona and Iridescence at Giau Passs in the Dolomites

September 27, 2023

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Photographer: Alessandra Masi  
Summary Author: Alessandra Masi

Shown above is a cloud corona taken just before sunset at snowy passage (Giau Pass at 7,336 ft or 2,236 m) in the Dolomites Mountains of northern Italy. The ringed structure leads us to think of a crown (corona) that’s fraying to form iridescent clouds. Diffraction of sunlight by fine cloud droplets within the altocumulus clouds, that are slightly larger than the wavelength of light, produce the pastel colors. Photo taken on January 10, 2018.

Photo Details: Canon EOS 5DMk3 camera; 70 mm f/16 lens; 250 ISO, 1/4000 second exposure.

Passo Giau, Dolomites, Italy Coordinates: 46.4826,12.0536

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