Eclipses - Samuli Vuorinen
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August 2017 Eclipse - Baily's beads, composite

August 2017 Eclipse - Baily's beads, composite

During a total solar eclipse the moon blocks out the face of the sun. Right before and right after totality the sun can be seen shining through lunar valleys and between mountains, causing bright spots of light to appear on the edge of the moon. These are called Baily's beads, named after Francis Baily, who provided an explanation for the phenomenon in 1836.

The beads change shape rapidly, in a matter of seconds. This composite visualizes the evolution of Baily's beads during the August 2017 eclipse.