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.

2023 May 16
A deep image of the Sun's surrounding corona during the 
April 2023 total solar eclipse. The central disk is dark and
many bright and complex rays are seen extending out. A few hot pink
filaments can be seen just around the Sun's edge.
Please see the explanation for more detailed information.

Total Eclipse: The Big Corona
Image Credit & Copyright: Reinhold Wittich

Explanation: Most photographs don't adequately portray the magnificence of the Sun's corona. Seeing the corona first-hand during a total solar eclipse is unparalleled. The human eye can adapt to see coronal features and extent that average cameras usually cannot. Welcome, however, to the digital age. The featured image digitally combined short and long exposures taken in Exmouth, Australia. that were processed to highlight faint and extended features in the corona of the total solar eclipse that occurred in April of 2023. Clearly visible are intricate layers and glowing caustics of an ever changing mixture of hot gas and magnetic fields in the Sun's corona. Looping prominences appear bright pink just past the Sun's edge. Images taken seconds before and after the total eclipse show glimpses of the background Sun known as Baily's Beads and Diamond Ring. The next total solar eclipse will cross North America in April of 2024.

Total Solar Eclipse of 2023 April Gallery: Notable Submissions to APOD
Tomorrow's picture: sun bridge

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