This is a composite of 31 different images, taken in

the shadow of the solar eclipse that passed over

Asia and parts of the Pacific back in July of 2009

for 6 minutes and 39 seconds. That’s the longest

solar eclipse anyone on Earth will witness this

century; a longer one isn’t coming until 2132.

Mathematician and eclipse photographer Miloslav

Druckmüller didn’t waste a second of it,

positioned with a team of colleagues on

Enewetak Atoll in the South Pacific, which just

happens to be where the first hydrogen bomb was

tested by the United States back in 1952. The photo

shows the solar corona that make up the sun’s

“atmosphere” in glorious detail. Its whorls and

loops extend millions of miles into space, are

nearly 200 times hotter than the visible surface

of the sun, and yet aren’t nearly as bright (by a

factor of something like a million), hence, we

can only see them during eclipses. I love the

delicate beauty of this photo, and how it makes

various features of the corona so plainly visible,

like the difference in activity around its polar

regions, as well as the dim, cratered surface of

the moon.

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