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Weird Things Happen with a Total Solar Eclipse

22 Jun 2017, 18:21 UTC
Weird Things Happen with a Total Solar Eclipse
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By Rick Boozer, astrophysicist and veteran solar eclipse chaser Everyone talks about how visually stunning it is when the darkened Moon fully covers the face of the Sun in a total solar eclipse. And indeed, it is! But there are other unusual, truly strange happenings that occur when the Moon passes in front of the Sun. If you aren’t prepared to look for them, some of these weird phenomena are so fleeting that you can miss them. Following are descriptions of a number of those novel occurrences.Long before totality (when the Moon is only covering part of the Sun’s face), go to a nearby tree and look in the shade of the tree’s shadow. You will see hundredsof crescent images of the partially covered Sun all over the ground! In fact, this is a safe way to view all the partial phases of the eclipse without harming your eyes. Where do all these many images come from? The gaps between the tree’s leaves act like a pinhole camera by projecting the Sun’s image on the ground. Here is a photo that was shot of such a tree shadow during a previous solar eclipse: (Above image credit and copyright Elisa Israel) ...

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