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Mystery Photo

What in the world is it?

Mystery Photo
Don’t peek at the answer until you’ve given this a good try! Then, scroll down a bit and the truth will be revealed to you.

What In the World Is It?

This month’s mystery photo isn’t too hard to guess. It’s a total solar eclipse. But it’s a very recent one, and it shows some unusual color in the sky! Jonathan Kern of the California Institute of Technology captured this image from Romania during the August 11, 1999, total solar eclipse. Only in the fleeting moments of totality – when the Moon covers the Sun – do we see the feathery light of the Sun’s outer atmosphere (called the corona) from Earth. Usually the sky is dark during an eclipse. And it was. But as this photograph shows, blue sky is being illuminated by the very bright corona. The sky didn’t look that blue during totality, however. The blue sky color shows up in this unusual picture because of the long exposure on color film.

Credit: (Jonathan Kern)


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