Posted by Deborah Byrd in Astronomy Essentials | Today's Image|July 4, 2019
Some called it the “astronomer’s eclipse” because it passed near major observatories in Chile. Check out these beautiful images of the July 2, 2019, total solar eclipse.
This composite image captures the drama of totality during the July 2, 2019, total solar eclipse. When – as seen from Earth – the moon passes directly in front of the sun, the sun’s light is blocked and its extended atmosphere or corona can be seen. The processing of this image highlights the intricate detail of the corona, its structures shaped by the sun’s magnetic field. Some details of the lunar surface can also be seen. The image – via European Space Agency (ESA) – was created by the ESA-CESAR team observing the eclipse from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, South America.
A prominence seen in the sun’s chromosphere during the July 2, 2019, total solar eclipse. Prominences are made of tangled magnetic field lines that keep dense concentrations of solar plasma suspended above the sun’s surface. They are anchored to the sun’s visible surface and extend outwards through the chromosphere and out into the corona. The red hue of the chromosphere is only apparent during an eclipse. This image – via ESA – was taken by the ESA-CESAR team observing the eclipse from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, South America.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Pablo Goffard caught the July 2 total solar eclipse from Incahuasi, Chile. He wrote: “This is just a photo, a tiny part of the experience. Incahuasi is a small town in the Atacama desert. Here is seen the camp installed especially for the eclipse.”
This image of eclipse-watchers was taken by a frequent EarthSky contributor, Yuri Beletsky, on the Chilean coast. It was chosen as an Astronomy Picture of the Day for July 4, 2019. Congratulations on a wonderful photo, Yuri! Note that diffraction spikes (apparent rays from the sun) are effects from the camera lens aperture.
While some observers on the southern part of Earth saw a total solar eclipse, the European Space Agency’s PROBA-2 satellite’s SWAP imager in space saw a partial eclipse, as shown in the video below. The images are in ultraviolet light, revealing the turbulent nature of the sun’s surface and corona. ESA said:
During this eclipse the satellite was passing through the South Atlantic Anomaly at the time of the largest occultation [covering of the sun]. In this region the spacecraft is exposed to higher levels of radiation. The increased flux of energetic particles falling on the satellite’s detector is the cause for all the bright dots and streaks in the images.
Bottom line: More amazing images of the July 2, 2019, total solar eclipse.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.