A magnificent solar corona, that only in the fleeting darkness of a total eclipse its light is easily visible.
Image credit Miloslav Druckmüller (Brno U. of Tech.), Martin Dietzel, Peter Aniol, Vojtech Rušin
Normally overwhelmed by the bright solar disk, the expansive corona, the sun’s outer atmosphere, is an alluring sight. But the subtle details and extreme ranges in the corona’s brightness, although discernible to the eye, are notoriously difficult to photograph.
Pictured here, however, using multiple images and digital processing, is a detailed image of the Sun’s corona taken during the 2008 August total solar eclipse from Mongolia. Clearly visible are intricate layers and glowing caustics of an ever changing mixture of hot gas and magnetic fields. Bright looping prominences appear pink just above the Sun’s limb.
A similar solar corona might be visible through clear skies in a thin swath across the USA during a total solar eclipse that occurs in August 21.
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