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.

August 13, 1999
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Eclipse In The Shade
Credit and Copyright: E. Israel

Explanation: Near the shadow of the moon under a shady tree, dozens of images of a 1994 solar eclipse in progress are visible in this striking picture from the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. What creates the multiple images? Any small gap between leaves can act like a pin-hole camera, projecting a discernible image of the crescent sun onto the shaded sidewalk below. This tree's height and multitude of leaves combine dramatically to produce the large size and number of images. On August 11, many throughout Europe and Asia had the chance to enjoy similar views of the last total solar eclipse of the millennium as the moon's shadow raced across densely populated regions of the globe.

Tomorrow's picture: A String Of Pearls

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.