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.

2023 November 1
A sequence of Sun and Moon images are shown behind a
scenic foreground that features the large Factory Butte.
The foreground was taken during the maximum part of the 
annular eclipse and seems somehow oddly lit. 
Please see the explanation for more detailed information.

Annular Solar Eclipse over Utah
Image Credit & Copyright: MaryBeth Kiczenski

Explanation: Part of the Sun disappeared earlier this month, but few people were worried. The missing part, which included the center from some locations, just went behind the Moon in what is known as an annular solar eclipse. Featured here is an eclipse sequence taken as the Moon was overtaking the rising Sun in the sky. The foreground hill is Factory Butte in Utah, USA. The rays flaring out from the Sun are not real -- they result from camera aperture diffraction and are known as sunstar. The Moon is real, but appears only in silhouette in this ring-of-fire eclipse. As stunning as this eclipse sequence is, it was considered just practice by the astrophotographer. The reason? She hopes to use this experience to better photograph the total solar eclipse that will occur over North America on April 8, 2024.

Apply today (USA): Become a NASA Partner Eclipse Ambassador
Eclipse Album: Selected images sent in to APOD
Tomorrow's picture: out of the frying pan

< | Archive | Submissions | Index | Search | Calendar | RSS | Education | About APOD | Discuss | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC,
NASA Science Activation
& Michigan Tech. U.