Lunar Corona over Cochem Castle
As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day and the National Geographic News from the bank of river Moselle in Germany(Mosel), the town and spectacular castle of Cochem (Reichsburg, from the 12th century) appear in the evening twilight. A colorful lunar corona forms as the night proceeds. For a moment a clear patch in the corona resembles the Batman image in the sky! From an astronomer point of view the shape might reminds jets from an active galactic center with the radio lobes at both sides! In the sky bright star Regulus appears upper right of the moon. Click on the second photo to see a stronger lunar corona which has formed above the castle minutes later. The corona forms when the light from the moon interacts with the cloud droplets and high ice crystals in the sky. This atmospheric phenomena have an intensely bright central aureole which is white-blue and fringed with yellows and reds. Sometimes that is all to be seen but sometimes they appear to have one or more successively fainter and gently colored soft rings surrounding the aureole. The corona can be 15 degrees or so in diameter and often it shrinks and swells as different clouds move in front of the moon.