Lunar Corona


Matt’s Report

Last week the sun has been undergoing an intense period of solar flare activity, this apparently increases the chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis. (The northern lights are caused by cosmic particles from the sun colliding with the atmosphere and interacting with the magnetic fields at the poles)

I headed out late last night to see if there was going to be a show, sadly the cosmic particles were refusing to cooperate fully! There was a brilliant full moon which was obscuring any potential light shows. We did see some white stripes across the sky for a while (possibly just clouds but they were very picturesque) and there was also a beautiful corona round the moon. This is caused by light refracting through high altitude, thin clouds scudding across the moon. Apparently a lunar corona is seen as a harbinger of bad weather, presumably because the cirrus that cause the corona are often the the start of a frontal system. The best photos of the corona I could manage are below.