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Why you can’t see the Moon during a total solar eclipse (Synopsis)

16 Aug 2017, 14:01 UTC
Why you can’t see the Moon during a total solar eclipse (Synopsis)
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

“Even though the reason for taking the photographs was science, the result shows the enormous beauty of nature.” -Miloslav Druckmuller, eclipse photographer
During those moments of totality, the Sun is eclipsed by a new Moon, with the latter’s shadow falling onto Earth. From within that shadow, the Sun’s disk is blocked entirely, revealing a slew of fainter objects: stars, planets, and the Sun’s corona, all of which cannot normally be seen during the day. Yet one object even brighter than all the stars — the new Moon — will remain invisible throughout the eclipse.
The Sun’s atmosphere is not confined to the photosphere or even the corona, but rather extends out for millions of miles in space, even under non-flare or ejection conditions. Thanks to the masking technology of the coronagraph, we can view it from either Earth or space. Image credit: NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory.
Despite the Moon acting as the ultimate coronagraph, blocking out 100% of the Sun’s light, and despite the full Earth reflecting its light back onto the Moon, you won’t be able to see the lunar surface at all. Why is that? It’s the relative brightness of something very close by: the solar corona. ...

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