The Coolest Images of Yesterday's Solar Eclipse

The eclipse seen from the European Southern Observatory La Silla Observatory.
Photo: ESO/R. Lucchesi

For thousands of people in Chile yesterday, the Moon passed directly between Earth and the Sun, casting a day-blotting shadow just prior to the real dusk. And of course, there are pictures.

In the image below, you can see the lines of the solar corona, its hot outer atmosphere.

Photo: ESO/P. Horalek

The Moon’s shadow reached the Chilean coast by mid-afternoon, culminating in a total eclipse in which the Sun was completely blocked out at around 4:40 p.m. Chilean time. You can watch video streams of the eclipse here and here.

Viewers were able to see eclipse phenomena like Baily’s beads, in which the rough surface of the Moon allows “beads” of sunlight through, just at the start and finish of totality:


And a blacked-out Sun isn’t the only wild thing to occur during eclipses—the Sun appears to set from 360 degrees, rather than on just one part of the sky. One camera was able to catch a blip of that false sunset just before the real sunset:


Many Chilean viewers were able to see this eclipse thanks to donations from the 2017 eclipse that crossed North America. The organization Astronomers Without Borders collected tens of thousands of pairs of eclipse glasses two years ago and distributed them to schools and organization in Peru, Chile, and Argentina.

The Sun looked pretty amazing.


It looked especially cool from space:


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About the author

Ryan F. Mandelbaum

Science writer at Gizmodo | I like physics and eating