JUAN CARLOS CASADO (STARRYEARTH.COM) / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JUAN CARLOS CASADO (STARRYEARTH.COM) / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Total solar eclipse, 2nd to 3rd contact, composite image. Total solar eclipses occur when the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun. This composite consists of 21 images, one of totality (centre) and ten either side showing the progression from second contact to third contact (the moments when the Sun disappears behind and appears from behind the Moon). At these points, Baily's Beads are seen, caused by light shining through valleys on the Moon's surface. Total solar eclipses usually occur less than once a year, and can only be seen from a small area of the Earth's surface. This total solar eclipse was observed from Palu, Indonesia on 9 March 2016. Totality lasted for around 2 minutes.
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