Solar eclipse: Fisheye view.

A Most Unusual Solar Eclipse Photo

A Most Unusual Solar Eclipse Photo

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
April 14 2015 11:15 AM

A Most Unusual Solar Eclipse Photo


Last month, the Moon passed in front of the Sun … if you happened to be in just the right place on our planet.


My friend Tunç Tezel was eyewitness to it, and he took a lot of photos. I posted one in the link above, which is a beautiful if straightforward shot of the totally eclipsed Sun. But then a few days ago he sent me a note saying he had a far more unusual one, and I must say: He’s absolutely right. Check this out!

solar eclipse
A hole in the sky, a hole in the Sun.

Photo by Tunç Tezel, used by permission

That shot is a mosaic of eight photos taken rapid-fire in just 41 seconds, which he then seamlessly stitched together into a single 360° view.

The Sun is near the bottom, the black circle of the perfectly new Moon blocking it, allowing the Sun’s faint corona to shine through. To the left you can see Venus, and other stars are visible as well.

Tunç was in Longyearbyen, Svalbard (an island technically part of Norway but substantially north of it at 78° latitude). I can’t even imagine what he went through to get there, set up, and take these shots, but from my warm desk in Colorado, I say, “Thanks!” He has a lot more photos of the sky he's posted on The World at Night website, and I highly recommend you take a look. He's good.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!