lunar image of the month

may: darkest africa

It's the eclipse season again. Roughly every six months the orbit of the Moon crosses the imaginary line which passes through the centres of the Sun and Earth, and full moons and new moons become eclipse opportunities.

Two seasons ago there was a specatacular eclipse of the Sun visible from Africa. This image is built from a series of exposures at 20 minute intervals. All were taken using a dense solar filter, apart from the central one where the Moon covers the Sun allowing the spidery solar corona to be seen. The small white dot next to the Sun in the frame after totality (below and left) is Jupiter.

Image: Cees Bassa, Sterrekundig Instituut Utrecht.