Lunar Aureoles

I never tire of atmospheric phenomena, whether it be during the day or night.  Thankfully we can view coronae (or simply the center versions called aureoles) not only with the Sun, but also with the Moon.

Light is diffracted by tiny droplets of water in the atmosphere creating these beautiful scenes.  The droplet size, shape, and light wavelength all determine the outcome of the corona.  The smaller the water droplets in the atmosphere, the larger the diameter of the ring around the Moon or the Sun.

Aureole means “golden crown of light”.  If you look closely at photos of the moon, you’ll see the beautiful golden crown that surrounds it.  I almost always see this during higher humidity nights at a high luminosity when the scattered clouds create a magnificent show.

For more information, please explore Les Cowley’s website “Atmospheric Optics”:  http://www.atoptics.co.uk/droplets/corona.html

If you’d like a little fun creating your own phenomena simulations, check out Les’  IRIS software:   http://www.atoptics.co.uk/droplets/iris.html


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~ by Erika Rix on July 13, 2010.

One Response to “Lunar Aureoles”

  1. […] Lunar Aureole I love this time of the year when sun dogs and lunar aureoles are in abundance. Explanation of Lunar Aureoles Light is diffracted by tiny droplets of water in the atmosphere creating these beautiful scenes. […]

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