Earth Science Image of the day

Pollen and Flying Seeds - August 18, 2022

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#01 (7)

Photographer: Paolo Bardelli
Summary Author: Paolo Bardelli

Even if we don't realize it, during springtime the sky is crossed by large quantities of flying seeds and pollen. The photo at top is a sum of 30 shots showing the presence of many such seeds as observed from Albusciago, Italy, on April 14, 2020. In addition, the proliferation of pollen grains, though practically invisible, can produce the spectacle seen on the bottom photo – a corona about the Sun.

Mid-April was quite clear in Albusciago, due to foehn winds (strong, warm and dry winds), while at the same time birch trees were blooming. The very low relative humidity (measured at 12% at my weather station) caused the release of large quantities of pollen into the air. It was thus possible to detect a "pollen corona," created by the diffraction of sunlight by the minute, elliptically shaped pollen grains.

Though springtime can be difficult for people like me who suffer with allergies, being able to observe this pollen corona offered some consolation. Note, always use extreme caution when looking anywhere near the Sun. Here, I used the top of a chimney to block the Sun and made sure not to look through the viewfinder.  

Photo details: Canon 70D, zoom lens 17/85 mm. with polarizing filter.
Processing: PS CC, Startrails.


Albusciago, Italy Coordinates: 45.7395, 8.7939

Related Links:

Pollen Corona over Trier, Germany





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