Click to see a larger image (Credit: Fred Bruenjes)

This image was taken during a total solar eclipse, back in 2003. Amazingly, in certain regions that are located close to the poles – like Antarctica – the phenomenon can look other-worldly.

 

As the sun passes behind the moon on the horizon, a significant amount of light is obscured – causing a brilliant ring of fire to form. The ring is particularly noticeable because of the dimness of light.

 

The image is a composite of several different images, which were combined to produce an image that would look similar to what one would see if you were able to see the event with your own two eyes. The distortion is an optical illusion – created by our atmosphere (In cases like this – when the eclipse happens low on the horizon – we are looking at the event through a thicker cross-section of our atmosphere. The same atmospheric refraction occurs during sunrise and sunset.)


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