Coronas are colorful, concentric rings centered on a bright light such as the Sun, the Moon, or even a streetlamp. Coronas are most commonly caused by water droplets or ice particles of relatively uniform size. Observers in Finland have reported spectacular clear-sky coronas caused by pollen grains. A clear-sky corona in central Texas occurred during the peak of the juniper pollinating season. The aerosol optical thickness at each of three wavelengths was highest when the corona was most prominent. Photographic measurements of the corona infer a particle diameter of ~32.4 μm. Because juniper pollen grains have a diameter of from 22 to 30 μm, they are the aerosol most likely to have caused the corona.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
(010.1310) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric scattering
(280.1100) Remote sensing and sensors : Aerosol detection
(280.1310) Remote sensing and sensors : Atmospheric scattering
(290.1090) Scattering : Aerosol and cloud effects
(290.5850) Scattering : Scattering, particles
Forrest M. Mims, "Solar Corona Caused by Juniper Pollen in Texas," Appl. Opt. 37, 1486-1488 (1998)