Annular Solar Eclipse at High Resolution
On Monday, part of the Sun went missing. The missing piece was no cause for concern --
the Moon was only momentarily in the way. The event was not a total eclipse of the Sun
for any Earth-bound sky enthusiast but rather, at best, an annular eclipse, where the
Moon blocked most of the Sun. Because of the relatively large distance to the Moon
during this Earth-Moon-Sun alignment, the Moon did not have a large enough angular
size to block the entire Sun. Those who witnessed the solar eclipse from a narrow
path through Spain and Africa, however, were lucky enough to see the coveted Ring
of Fire, a dark Moon completely surrounded by the brilliant light of the distant Sun.
Pictured above is a Ring of Fire captured two days ago in unusually high resolution
above Spain. The resulting image shows details of the granular solar surface as well
as many prominences around the Sun.