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.

2016 March 15

Cheering a Total Solar Eclipse
Video Credit & Copyright: Associated Press, Exploratorium

Explanation: What would you do if you saw the Sun disappear? Quite possibly: cheer. That's what many exuberant sky watchers did across Indonesia during a total eclipse of the Sun last week. There and then, the land and sky went dark during the day as our Sun disappeared for a few minutes behind our Moon. Many people watching knew they were witnessing a rare event, and their joyous exclamations can be heard on the featured video. What a far cry this reaction is from centuries ago, when more typical eclipse reactions derived from fear and worry. The video shows first shows a Sun only partly eclipsed by the Moon as totality approached. From many locations, foreground clouds on our Earth either obscured the view or made the view more interesting. The total eclipse was only visible from a narrow swath of Earth that included several Indonesian islands. At the same time, in the opposite direction, NASA's EPIC camera aboard NOAA's DSCOVR satellite captured the shadow of the Moon moving across the Earth.

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Tomorrow's picture: green space

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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