When it comes to atmospheric optics, few phenomena capture the imagination quite like corona colours. These ethereal displays are reminiscent of soap bubbles and the vibrant plumage of peacocks. While corona colours may appear as single hues, they are actually composed of a mixture of several spectral colours. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of corona colours, exploring their size, composition, and the mesmerizing patterns they create.
One fascinating aspect of corona colours is their size, which is directly proportional to the wavelength of light. For instance, the red corona is almost twice as large as its extreme violet counterpart. To visualize this, consider an animation where the white light corona is broken down into its individual spectral colours. Upon closer inspection, it becomes apparent that these colours are not isolated but rather blend together, forming a complex tapestry of hues. This blending effect is a common characteristic of many interference colours observed in nature.
Within the corona's aureole, the center appears nearly white, surrounded by fringes of yellow and red. The yellow and red hues extend further than other colours because they dominate the outer edge. Moving inward, the first ring reveals an inner edge that transitions from blue-violet to extreme violet and blue, with a hint of green. As we progress further towards the center, the greens become more subdued due to the blending of blue and orange. Finally, the outermost ring displays a reddish tinge, intermingled with hints of violet from the adjacent ring.
To gain a deeper understanding of corona colours, researchers have employed advanced simulation techniques. One such simulation tool is IRIS (Iridescent Radiative Interactive Simulator). By manipulating the spectrum, it becomes evident that single spectral colours are scarce within corona colours. Instead, these colours arise from a combination of multiple wavelengths, resulting in the mesmerizing and dynamic patterns we observe.
While the exact mechanisms behind the formation of corona colours are complex, they can be attributed to the interaction of light with atmospheric particles, such as water droplets or ice crystals. These particles act as tiny prisms, dispersing light and causing it to interfere with itself. The interference of light waves gives rise to the vibrant array of colours seen in corona displays.
Sunlight plays a crucial role in the creation of corona colours. As sunlight passes through the Earth's atmosphere, it interacts with atmospheric particles, scattering and bending its rays. This scattering effect, known as Rayleigh scattering, is responsible for the blue sky during daylight hours. When sunlight encounters water droplets or ice crystals, such as those found in clouds or fog, it undergoes further scattering and diffraction, leading to the formation of corona colours.
While we primarily associate corona colours with the visible spectrum, they can also manifest beyond what our eyes can perceive. Infrared corona colours exist at longer wavelengths, invisible to the naked eye but detectable through specialized instruments. Exploring these hidden hues provides scientists with valuable insights into the intricate interplay between light and atmospheric particles.
Corona colours are a captivating sight to behold, and many enthusiasts have endeavored to capture their beauty through photography. With the right equipment and techniques, photographers can immortalize these transient displays, preserving their intricate patterns and vibrant hues for all to admire.
One of the remarkable aspects of corona colours is their dynamic nature. As atmospheric conditions change, so too do the patterns and colours observed in coronas. Factors such as the size and shape of water droplets or ice crystals, as well as the angle of sunlight, can all influence the appearance of corona colours. This constant flux adds an element of unpredictability and excitement to the study and observation of these captivating optical phenomena.
While we have made significant strides in understanding the science behind corona colours, there is still much to learn about these mesmerizing displays. Researchers continue to delve into the intricate details of light scattering, diffraction, and interference to unravel the mysteries that lie within corona colours. Through ongoing exploration and scientific inquiry, we inch closer to comprehending the full extent of their beauty and complexity.
In conclusion, corona colours offer a window into the fascinating world of atmospheric optics. Their iridescent hues and intricate patterns are a testament to the wondrous interplay between light and atmospheric particles. Whether observing them in the sky or capturing their magic through photography, corona colours never fail to captivate our imagination and inspire a sense of awe and wonder.
White light corona and those from narrow band radiation. IRIS simulations. Mouse over the spectrum to see the composition of the white light corona.
Corona colours are iridescent, redolent of soap bubbles and peacock tails.
A corona's size in any single colour is proportional to the light wavelength. The red corona is almost twice as large as the extreme violet one.
In the white light corona all the coronas of the individual spectral colours are superimposed.
Operate the animation to see that almost nowhere are there any single spectral colours, they are instead mixtures of several. Most interference colours are like this.
The aureole centre is nearly white. Its edge is fringed yellow and red because it extends furthest in these colours.
The first ring's blue-violet inner edge is made of extreme violet to blue with just a little green.
The greens at each ring centre are subdued where blue to orange all mix. The outer red is tinged with next ring's violet.
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"Corona Colours". Atmospheric Optics. Accessed on November 30, 2023. https://atoptics.co.uk/blog/corona-colours/.
"Corona Colours". Atmospheric Optics, https://atoptics.co.uk/blog/corona-colours/. Accessed 30 November, 2023
Corona Colours. Atmospheric Optics. Retrieved from https://atoptics.co.uk/blog/corona-colours/.