Lunar Pollen Corona
Blazej Olszyca (image gallery) captured this pollen corona at Lodz, Poland.                                          ©Blazej Olszyca, shown with permission.

"I could not believe at first that it was a pollen corona. But I heard my father and my co-worker complaining of the dust on their cars. I realised that the rooftops of all the cars were literally yellow when looking horizontally at them. I dug out a microscope, took some of this dust and... I found a Mickey mouse :). That's exactly the shape of pine pollen."

Pollen makes excellent coronae because the grains from a particular plant or tree variety all have the same size. The 'Mickey Mouse ears', air sacs, align the grains as they drift and this in turn produces the elongated rings with local bright spots.

Pollen coronae are smaller than most of those in clouds. Shield the sun or moon carefully and look close in. Dark glasses or a dark mirror help.


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