Scientists from around the world joined this Greek islands 250 residents and countless visitors Wednesday in cheering the drama of the Moon totally blocking the Sun, revealing the dancing glow of its corona.
"It was even more fabulous than we expected," said Jay Pasachoff, professor of astronomy at Williams College (in Williamstown, Mass.) who observed his 42nd solar eclipse. "All the technical equipment worked perfectly, the corona shone brightly, and the activity around sunspots on the eastern edge of the Sun provided an even more dramatic show than predicted."
Chair of the International Astronomical Unions Working Group on Eclipses, Pasachoff led an expedition of dozens of scientists and students to record images from the rare, three-minute event. They are capturing data over many eclipses to understand better why the Suns corona, the outer halo of million-degree gas, shines hotter than the Sun itself. Most of the corona is visible from Earth only for the fleeting time that the Moon totally blocks the Suns direct rays.
Prof. Jay Pasachoff | EurekAlert!
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