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Why you can’t see the Moon during a total solar eclipse

23 Aug 2017, 14:01 UTC
Why you can’t see the Moon during a total solar eclipse
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Immediately following the first moments of totality, the sky will darken and the Sun’s corona will appear. But the Moon that blocks the Sun will still remain invisible. Image credit: Hana Druckmullerova.The new Moon is brighter than every star in the sky. But you’ll never see it during an eclipse.“Even though the reason for taking the photographs was science, the result shows the enormous beauty of nature.” -Miloslav Druckmuller, eclipse photographerThe moments of totality during an eclipse are something rare and special for anyone who gets to experience it. They’re only possible when the Sun, Earth and Moon perfectly align at a moment when the Moon is close enough to block the entire Sun’s disk, from an Earth-bound observer’s perspective. As the shadow of the Moon falls on the Earth, the sky darkens, and stars, planets, and the Sun’s corona appear visible to human eyes during the day. Yet to those of you who’ve seen a thin crescent Moon before, one sight is missing: the face of the Moon itself, normally illuminated by Earthshine. To someone who’s viewed the Moon routinely, it may come as a baffling surprise.A thin crescent moon, just one day after the new moon, sets in ...

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