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.

2024 May 6

A Total Solar Eclipse from Sliver to Ring
Video Credit & Copyright: Reinhold Wittich; Music: Sunrise from Also sprach Zarathusra (R. Strauss) by Sascha Ende

Explanation: This is how the Sun disappeared from the daytime sky last month. The featured time-lapse video was created from stills taken from Mountain View, Arkansas, USA on 2024 April 8. First, a small sliver of a normally spotted Sun went strangely dark. Within a few minutes, much of the background Sun was hidden behind the advancing foreground Moon. Within an hour, the only rays from the Sun passing the Moon appeared like a diamond ring. During totality, most of the surrounding sky went dark, making the bright pink prominences around the Sun's edge stand out, and making the amazing corona appear to spread into the surrounding sky. The central view of the corona shows an accumulation of frames taken during complete totality. As the video ends, just a few minutes later, another diamond ring appeared -- this time on the other side of the Moon. Within the next hour, the sky returned to normal.

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