PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Solar eclipse astronomy. Astronomer using laptop computers to record observations of the Sun made during a total solar eclipse. Solar eclipses occur when the Moon passes across the Sun as seen from Earth. This only occurs at New Moon, and is most commonly a partial eclipse. Sometimes, usually less than once a year, a total solar eclipse takes place. This happens when the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun, and, for a few minutes, the corona, the Sun's atmosphere, becomes visible. This allows astronomers to carry out observations that are not possible when the Sun is fully visible. Photographed on 21 June 2001, in Sumbe, Angola.
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