TOTALITY

With the fleeting blaze of a diamond ring, the world plummets into darkness.


Lake Francis under the total eclipse.

The second diamond ring signals the end of totality.

Lake Francis, with a diamond ring in the sky.

Alone at the Edge of the Universe

Those who have witnessed a total eclipse under clear skies understand: it isn't something you see, but something you feel. It's a more intense experience than a sudden onset of twilight.

It's more than the temperature drop and changing winds, more than the silenced birds and wildlife, more, even, than the awestruck gasps of humans around you.


Rather, it is a visceral, primal feeling that in a single moment the world has vanished, leaving you standing alone on a precipice, overlooking the edge of the universe.


You stand. You look. You feel the world turn, feel the rush of air fill your lungs. All at once it's as if time has ended.

Its just one moment – a single breath.


And then a diamond ring blazes once more, and the world returns to normal.

But you do not, and might never, return to normal.



If you would like to customize any of the composite images with your own text, such as your location, the date, or anything else, please reach out via the contact page. I am happy to do so at no additional charge.



This page is nearly finished! All significant images have been added save for one advanced HDR image of the corona. I've added a sample, but it's going to take a bit more work to make it printable.


Transient Phenomena

C2 Diamond Ring

With the fleeting blaze of a diamond ring, the world plummets into darkness.


The diamond ring appears just before and after totality – it is the last (and first) visible part of the photosphere, the part of the sun that emits light in our direction.

C2 Baily's Beads

Mere seconds after the diamond ring dazzles, the momentary appearance of Baily's Beads signal the start of Totality. Paper glasses come off, and the sight is met with a chorus of gasps and phrases like "wow" and "oh my god," and more than a few appreciative curses.


Baily's beads, named for Francis Baily but originally noted by Sir Edmund Halley in 1715, occur when the last light from the solar disc shines through craters and valleys in the Moon's surface.

Prominences & Chromosphere

With the disappearance of Baily's Beads, the chromosphere appears as a bright band of pink and red. Visible even with the naked eye are several solar prominences, shown here in a composite of both sides of the sun.



Solar prominences are bursts of plasma that follow magnetic field lines, usually returning to the photosphere in a loop shape. The large prominence shown at lower right is approximately 4.7 times the diameter of the earth.

C3 Diamond Ring

The diamond ring appears in the last moments before and after totality – it is the last visible part of the photosphere, the part of the sun that emits light in our direction.



The diamond ring appears just before and after totality – it is the last (and first) visible part of the photosphere, the part of the sun that emits light in our direction.


Corona Images

Corona (Perceptual #1)

The moment Baily's Beads disappear, onlookers are met with a transformational sight: the sun's corona, or atmosphere. This is something that cannot be seen at any other time - in fact it wasn't until 1724 that Giacomo Maraldi recognized that the aura visible during a solar eclipse belonged to the sun rather than the moon.

The sun's corona extends for approximately 5-million miles from the sun's surface, and is composed of plasma nearing 2-million degrees F.


This is the simplest photo of the corona, similar to what you initially see with your naked eye, before your pupil dilates. It consists of a single processed image, taken at 1/1000th of a second.

Corona (Scientific #1)

This is my attempt at a visually-appealing HDR (high dynamic range) image of the corona. Many HDR images are 'crunched' so far that they lose much visual appeal. This consists of a series of ten images from 1/125th of a second to 4-seconds (ISO 100 equivalent). By bracketing exposures and merging them together, you can see a much larger extent of the corona; though this represents only 1.7 million miles of the corona's 5-million mile extent.


With a 4-sec equivalent exposure, you can also pick up the features of the moon itself! This 'earthshine' is reflected sunlight from outside the moon's shadow (the region of totality) being reflected back to illuminate the moon.

My hypothesis is that this earthshine is brighter in polar regions or near oceans than it is mid-continent, due to the higher reflectivity of snow and water.


"Sunflower"

The overlapping 'petals' of corona in this image wouldn't stop reminding me of a sunflower. Which... OH that makes sense!


The sunflower isn't a representation of the sun - because what's the center of the flower? It's represents an ECLIPSED sun! Black center, yellow corona!

Corona (Scientific #2)

A more intensely-edited version of Version #1, allowing more detail to emerge, yet also noise and a sub-par appearance. Still, extending for 5 million miles, the incredible depth and texture of the magnetic field lines of the sun's corona are impressive no matter the processing.


(A better version of this image with less noise and fewer artifacts will be replacing this soon).


Composites of Eclipse Phases

"Alone on a Precipice"

This is a composite of a images of multiple eclipse phases, including partial, diamond ring, and corona.

"All at once, it's as if time has ended." ~ Version 1

Inspired by feeling outside of time during totality, this clock-themed composite shows several partial phases, both C2 and C3 diamond rings and Baily's Beads, and the corona, all inside my image of the prominences during totality.

"All at once, it's as if time has ended." ~ Version 2

Inspired by feeling outside of time during totality, this clock-themed composite shows several partial phases, both C2 and C3 diamond rings and Baily's Beads, and the corona.