Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2005 April 7
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
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Solar Eclipse in View
Credit & Copyright: Fred Bruenjes (

Explanation: Friday's solar eclipse will be a rare hybrid - briefly appearing as either an annular eclipse or a total eclipse when viewed from along the narrow track of the Moon's shadow. Unfortunately that track, never more than about 30 kilometers wide, lies mostly across the Pacific Ocean, beginning south of New Zealand and just ending in Venezuela. Skywatchers along the beginning and end of the shadow track will see an annular eclipse of the Sun, with the Moon's silhouette briefly surrounded by a bright ring of fire, while observers along the middle of the track will witness a total eclipse phase. But the good news is that over a much broader region of the globe, including New Zealand and much of South and North America, a partial eclipse can be seen as the Moon appears to take a bite out of the Sun. If you want to view the eclipse, take care to do it safely, and check the times for your specific location. So, what location is this solar eclipse view from? The picture above was recorded in November of 2003 from within the track of the Moon's shadow across Antarctica, of course.

Tomorrow's picture: sideways

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