I’ve seen a lot of eclipse pictures, but this one is pretty phenomenally cool:
This was taken mere hours ago as I write this by photographer Geoffrey Sims, who was about 200 kilometers (120 miles) from Newman in Western Australia to watch the May 9/10 annular solar eclipse (if that location sounds familiar, it was where Colin Legg took the amazing Eta Aquarids photo I had on the blog the other day; Legg and Sims are working together on all this). If Sims' name sounds familiar, that's because he took an amazing series of photos of the 2012 solar eclipse I featured here.
But this one is even better. On average, the Sun and Moon are the same size in the sky, but the Moon’s orbit is an ellipse, and it happened to be near the farthest point on it orbit (called apogee) when it passed in front of the Sun. That made it appear smaller, so it couldn’t cover the entire Sun’s disk, leaving the “ring of fire” around the silhouetted Moon.
But Sims caught the eclipse near sunrise*, when the Moon and Sun were on the horizon. Atmospheric effects bend the light from the Sun, squashing it, and making this already weird eclipse that much more bizarre.
Sims promised me he has more pictures coming, so I’m excited to see what he has. If they’re anything like this, they’ll be fun to see.
Tip o' the welder's goggles to Michael Zeilik at Eclipse-Maps for the link!
TODAY IN SLATE
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?
Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.
The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team
The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.