Lunar Corona

Photograph by Dennis MammanaTWAN

Multihued halos surround the nearly full moon over Borrego Springs, California, in a newly released picture of a lunar corona.

The faint rings of color are an optical effect caused when moonlight interacts with wispy clouds and ice crystals high in the night sky. The width of such coronas can shrink or swell as different clouds move past the moon.

Published January 27, 2012

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