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 July 30
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6 Minutes 42 Seconds
Credit & Copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN)

Explanation: The July 22nd total solar eclipse was the longest of the 21st century. From the point of maximum eclipse along the Moon's shadow track across the Pacific Ocean, the Moon completely blocked the Sun for a total of 6 minutes and 39 seconds. But from the deck of this cruise ship the duration of the total eclipse phase was extended to a whopping 6 minutes and 42 seconds by the ship's motion along the shadow track. This panoramic view of the scene shows the shimmering solar corona in a darkened daytime sky, with clouds silhouetted by a bright sky on the distant horizon, beyond the Moon's shadow. Mercury can be seen near the eclipsed Sun. Venus lies near the upper right edge of the frame.

Tomorrow's picture: impact

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