Corona over Split Mountain, California

March 13, 2024


Photographer: Josh Gordon   
Summary Authors: Josh Gordon; Jim Foster

Shown above is a corona over one of the flanks of Split Mountain, California, captured from the Whiskey Flat Trail near the city of Kernville. Coronae form when water droplets in mid-level clouds diffract sunlight (or moonlight) in such a way to produce colorful interference rings. If the droplets (in some cases pollen or other aerosols) are nearly uniform in size, the rings may be particularly remarkable. Always use caution when looking anywhere near the Sun.

Split Mountain is one of the California’s fourteeners, standing at 14,064 ft (4,287 m). The shadowed rock in the foreground is likely granodiorite, a type of igneous rock that’s similar to granite. Photo taken on December 28, 2023.

Split Mountain, California Coordinates: 37.02091,-118.42239

Related Link:
Cloud Corona over the Sierra Nevada