The blue beads of sunset
July 2012: These solar jewels might not be as rare as you think.
May 29, 2012
|One of the most anticipated phenomena immediately preceding the total phase of a solar eclipse is the sudden and remarkable appearance of Baily’s beads. About 15 seconds before the onset of totality, the Moon’s advancing limb (edge) starts to split the Sun’s slender crescent into drops of liquid sunshine — a result of our star’s light passing through valleys along the ragged lunar limb. What’s more, just before the “door” on the Sun slams shut and totality begins, it’s possible to catch ruby beads (glimpses of the middle stellar atmosphere, the chromosphere) mingling with the solar diamonds.|
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