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.

2024 April 2
The Sun is shown during a total solar eclipse. Accentuated
is the expansive corona of the Sun, which is shown streaming
out in all directions. 
Please see the explanation for more detailed information.

Detailed View of a Solar Eclipse Corona
Image Credit & Copyright: Phil Hart

Explanation: Only in the fleeting darkness of a total solar eclipse is the light of the solar corona easily visible. Normally overwhelmed by the bright solar disk, the expansive corona, the sun's outer atmosphere, is an alluring sight. But the subtle details and extreme ranges in the corona's brightness, although discernible to the eye, are notoriously difficult to photograph. Pictured here, however, using multiple images and digital processing, is a detailed image of the Sun's corona taken during the April 20, 2023 total solar eclipse from Exmouth, Australia Clearly visible are intricate layers and glowing caustics of an ever changing mixture of hot gas and magnetic fields. Bright looping prominences appear pink just around the Sun's limb. A similar solar corona might be visible through clear skies in a thin swath across the North America during a total solar eclipse that occurs just six days from today

NASA Coverage: Total Solar Eclipse of 2024 April 8
Tomorrow's picture: celestial fireworks

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