Monday, August 3, 2009

Corona with Prominence


This photo of the corona was taken using a faster shutter speed on my Nikon D90 camera. You can barely see the orange prominence at about the 2:00 position. The second photo shows the red prominence even better.

The faster shutter speed lets in less light so instead of white light, as in yesterday's photo, today's photos show more of a yellowish band of the sun's rays.

You can use this same technique when taking photos of a sunset. If you set your camera for a darker setting (i.e., a faster shutter speed or a higher f-stop), you can get more color in the sunset and more definitions in the clouds on a bright day.

To enjoy a solar eclipse like this one, which occurred on July 21, 2009 in the South Pacific, the Moon has to barely cover the Sun to allow for the solar atmosphere (the corona) to be seen. To see the corona, the Moon and the Sun have to appear to be the same size in the sky.

If the Moon were smaller, it would not cover the Sun's entire disk. If the Moon were bigger, it would block out the corona. Everything has to be just right to see the corona like the one in today's photo.

The Sun is 390 times the diameter of the Moon. The Sun is also 390 times farther away from the Earth.

During an eclipse, when the Sun and Moon are aligned during totality, they appear to be the same size in our sky. It is lucky when this phenomena happens.

In this Saros 136 2009 eclipse, the Moon was relatively closer to the Earth in the Moon's orbit, and the Sun was relatively farther from the Earth due to the Earth's orbit. This made the 2009 eclipse one in which the Moon's size was greater relative to the Sun in comparison to other eclipses. The net result is an eclipse that has a thinner and more spectacular corona.

Now, go pick up a six pack of Corona beer, add lime, and toast the corona you are seeing in today's photo. I always wondered where the name of that beer came from.

Look tomorrow for more of the solar eclipse series and the fabulous Diamond Ring Effect.

18 comments:

Olivier said...

vraiment superbe ta série sur la lune, bravo

Babooshka said...

Superb both photography and narrative. Something I really would like to photograph.

Nikki Beaumont said...

The perfection and precision of all that goes into an eclipse is truly astounding. It just makes me praise God for all the wonders that He has made! - These are amazing photos! I am enjoying reading all that you have to tell us about them too. I'm glad that all of your planning paid off!

brattcat said...

I am utterly in awe of these photographs and the experience you had and the commitment you've made to your photography.

Sharon said...

More great shots of the eclipse! Awesome!

Frank said...

Simply amazing photos. So simple and yet so incredible that it happens at all and you captured it. The new travel site is a tremendous 180% from these shots but we humans sure can experience a wide range of travels, places and people. Thank you for sharing the entire spectrum with us.

magicpolaroid said...

wow so beautiful shots!

Lois said...

These pictures are just magnificent Julie! I am enjoying all of the information you are providing too and am really learning a lot. Thanks!

Jarart said...

Two amazing pictures! I can't imagine how it must have felt to see it in person.

glenda said...

Great photos.

Jacob said...

Very impressive, Julie! You did a great job!

Abraham Lincoln said...

Neat post. I never got to see it and was in the wrong place anyway.

Mirela said...

Great photos, and the post (I'm astronomer, so... ;-))! I wish I had been somewhere where the solar eclipse was visible...

James said...

WOW!

Memphis MOJO said...

Amazing shot complimented by an equally amazing commentary.

Mo said...

Brilliant

~Cheryl said...

I stand in awe! What an experience of a lifetime for you!

Don and Krise said...

Magnificent photos and I'm not missing one word of your narrative. Excellent work Julie.

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