Solar Corona of the November 2012 Eclipse Over Queensland, Australia

March 03, 2013

Solar Corona of the November 2012

Photographer: Constantine Emmanouilidi
Summary Authors: Constantine Emmanouilidi; Miloslav Druckmuller

The image above shows the stunning corona of the total solar eclipse of November 13, 2012, as observed from Queensland, Australia. Totality lasted four minutes and two seconds at the point of greatest eclipse, just east of the Australian mainland. This was my sixth viewing of a total solar eclipse but only my second happening near the time of the solar maximum. The solar corona is millions of degrees hotter than the Sun's photosphere but can only be observed when the Moon passes exactly in front of the solar disk (during totality). I was astonished by the brightness of the corona and by its dynamic characteristics, such as the helices found just outside the chromosphere. Also, you can see a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) -- at 11 o'clock on a clock-face.

I had to relocate my initial observation spot due to persistent clouds to a location further inland where the weather was more cooperative. A nearly crystal clear sky the night before the eclipse provided a great opportunity to set up our equipment. I’m already making preparations for the next total solar eclipse -- November 3, 2013, across central Africa.