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A Lunar Corona over Paris

A Lunar Corona over Paris

Copyright: Valter Binotto

Why does a cloudy moon sometimes appear colorful? The effect, called a lunar corona, is created by the quantum mechanical diffraction of light around individual, similarly-sized water droplets in an intervening but mostly-transparent cloud. Since light of different colors has different wavelengths, each color diffracts differently. Lunar coronae are one of the few quantum mechanical color effects that can be easily seen with the unaided eye. Solar coronae are also sometimes evident. The featured image was taken last month from Paris, France. The blue beacon emanating from the Eiffel Tower did not affect the colorful lunar corona. Portal Universe: Random APOD Generator

Courtesy of NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

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