Solar Eclipse over Atacama

The presented image was taken in the Valley of the Moon (Valle de la Luna), located on the territory of Chile’s Atacama Desert. It demonstrates a partial solar eclipse observed on the territory of South America and the coast of Antarctica on April 30, 2022.

Phases of a partial solar eclipse over the Atacama Desert. Source: P. Horálek/ESO

The photo shows a sequence of images taken at different phases of a partial solar eclipse. There is an impression that a small piece has been cut off from the Sun. This is due to the Moon partially covered the solar disk that was on the same line of sight with it. In total, the phenomenon lasted 54 minutes, pleasing locals, tourists, as well as employees of the nearby ALMA radio telescope complex.

You can also pay attention to the fact that the sky is dusty in the direction of sunset. This is not due to industrial pollution of the atmosphere. This is not due to industrial pollution of the atmosphere. The Atacama Desert is located far from major cities, and the sky above it is considered one of the cleanest on the planet. That is why there are so many different observatories on its territory.

In fact, the haze observed in the image is ash ejected during the January image of the Hunga volcano in the Pacific Ocean. Despite the fact that almost half a year has passed since then, the ash fallen in the upper atmosphere is still there, causing the scattering of sunlight, which becomes clearly visible during sunset. A similar (but much stronger) effect was also observed after the eruption of the Krakatau volcano in 1883 and the fall of the Tunguska meteorite in 1908.

You can also read about the total lunar eclipse that will take place on the night of May 16, 2022.

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