Photographic observation and optical simulation of a pollen corona display in Japan

Appl Opt. 2015 Feb 1;54(4):B12-21. doi: 10.1364/AO.54.000B12.


Brightness and chromaticity profiles were extracted from a vivid solar corona image taken with a digital camera in Sendai, Japan, to compare with a radiative transfer simulation applying Lorenz-Mie theory and single-scattering approximation. The comparison revealed suspended particles having a narrow particle size distribution peaking at radius 14.5 μm. Presumably, pollen of an indigenous coniferous tree, the cryptomeria (Cryptomeria japonica), is responsible for the corona display. The extracted brightness and chromaticity profiles are reproduced well by assuming the presence of a water soluble aerosol and dust in addition to the pollen. We find that photographic analysis of corona displays, similar to that used to measure cloud particle size, is applicable to estimating pollen particle size distribution and column number density.