Total Eclipse of the Sun
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Total Eclipse of the Sun

December 22, 2003
On December 3, 2002, people in Australia received a rare 32-second celestial show as the Moon completely obscured the Sun, creating a ring of light. Solar eclipses provide experts an opportunity to study the Sun’s outer atmosphere, called the corona. This total eclipse was the first to cover Australian shores since 1976. The next is not predicted to occur for several more decades. While people in Australia were observing the solar eclipse, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft also had its eye on the Sun. This image combines a photograph of the solar eclipse with data taken by the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) instrument onboard the SOHO spacecraft.

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