Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2009 January 29
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Eclipse Shirt 2009
Credit & Copyright: Simon Fishley (SAAO)

Explanation: Of course, everyone is concerned about what to wear to a solar eclipse. This is a great example though, especially for the first eclipse of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. In the picture, recorded during the January 26 solar eclipse from the grounds of the South African Astronomical Observatory at Cape Town, repeated images of the eclipse adorn a well-chosen shirt. The effect is familiar to eclipse enthusiasts as small gaps, commonly between leaves on trees, act as pinhole cameras to generate multiple recognizable images of the eclipse. From the Cape Town perspective, the solar eclipse was a partial one, with a maximum of about 65% of the Sun covered. But along a track extending across the Indian Ocean and western Indonesia the eclipse became annular, the solar disk briefly appearing as a fiery ring around the silhouetted Moon.

Tomorrow's picture: atonement

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