Solar Eclipse and Corona from Easter Island

August 22, 2010


Photographer: Mario Freitas
Summary Author
: Mario Freitas

The photo above showing a spectacular corona about the eclipsed Sun was captured on July 11, 2010 from Easter Island. During this awe-inspiring total solar eclipse, the narrow path of the Moon’s shadow across the Earth’s surface passed exactly over Easter Island; an isolated piece of volcanic land in the southern Pacific Ocean. The corona is the Sun’s outer atmosphere, which is only visible during an eclipse when the Moon blocks out the Sun’s blinding surface, known as the photosphere. On the eve of this eclipse, the Solar Dynamics Observatory registered a massive ejection of hot plasma, thought to result from an instability of the Sun’s magnetic field, which may have made our view of the corona even more impressive. If you look closely you can detect Mercury and Venus (Venus is the brighter of the two) to the right of the Sun. 

Photo Details: Camera: Canon PowerShot A710 IS; Focal Length: 5.8mm; Aperture: f/2.8; Exposure Time: 0.200 s (1/5).