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Explore Solar Eclipses, Sunlight Shines, and more!

Diamond ring effect. The Moon's surface isn't smooth and just before totality in an eclipse the last bit of sunlight shines through the lunar valleys. ©Mona Evans, “Solar Eclipses” http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28395.asp

Solar Eclipses: An Observer's Guide (Infographic) - When the moon covers up the sun, skywatchers delight in the opportunity to see a rare spectacle. Mona Evans, “Solar Eclipses” http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28395.asp

If you were on the Moon during a total lunar eclipse, you'd see a total solar eclipse. It might look something like this, with the Earth's nightside faintly shining. (Credit: Hana Gartstein) Mona Evans, "Lunar Eclipses" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28454.asp

Lunar Eclipse infographic. (Credit: Karl Tate) Mona Evans, “Lunar Eclipses” http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28454.asp

Total eclipse, Australia November 2012. The clouds have parted long enough to see the solar corona at the time of totality. (SLOOH SpaceCamera - Live Event) ©Mona Evans, “Solar Eclipses” http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28395.asp

Solar eclipse, Cairns, Australia (SLOOH SpaceCamera - Live Event) Start of total eclipse November 2012, the skies are partly cloudy. ©Mona Evans, “Solar Eclipses” http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28395.asp

During a total lunar eclipse, the moon passes through the outer part of Earth's shadow, called the penumbra, and then into the dark umbra. When fully immersed in the umbra, the moon is in total eclipse or in totality. (Credit: Sagredo) Mona Evans, "Blood Moons and Lunar Tetrads" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art301030.asp

On the way to totaltity. (SLOOH SpaceCamera - Live Event) November 2012, total solar eclipse in northern Australia. ©Mona Evans, “Solar Eclipses” http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28395.asp

Geometry of a solar eclipse. Since the Moon is small compared to Earth its shadow is narrow. Any place where the darker part of the shadow (the umbra) falls would have a total eclipse, but within the outer part of the shadow (the penumbra) the eclipse is only partial. Mona Evans, "Solar Eclipses" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28395.asp

Baily's beads during a total solar eclipse. The irregular landscape of the Moon means that its edge isn't perfectly smooth as it passes in front of the sun. It looks as if there are beads of bright sunlight coming through valleys and between mountains. They're named in honor of British astronomer Francis Baily who wrote an extensive account of them. ©Mona Evans, “Solar Eclipses” http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28395.asp