Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Hole in the Sky

"What made this eclipse so colorful (and so short) was the nearly perfect match in apparent size between the Sun and the Moon. The Moon just barely covered the Sun's visible face, revealing not only the vast corona but also the chromosphere, the thin lower layer of the solar atmosphere that glows with the characteristic red light of energized hydrogen atoms. In most total eclipses the chromosphere is visible only fleetingly at the beginning and end of totality, on opposite sides of the Sun. But this time it formed a nearly complete circle, accented by more than a half dozen flamelike prominences. A particularly large and bright prominence at the 12-o'clock position had detached from the Sun's limb and hung suspended in space."

-Richard Fienberg, Sky & Telescope Magazine

Makes you feel very small in the scheme of things. Eclipses are very cool.

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