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Giant Storm Erupts from Beneath the Sun During Hybrid Eclipse, Captured by Astrophotographers

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A team of astrophotographers captured a breathtaking view of the latest “hybrid eclipse” seen in the skies over Australia last week.

The image mostly shows the ghostly filaments of the solar corona or outer atmosphere, but it also captured a faint glimpse of magnetized plasma eruptions known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) erupting from the Sun.

The rare eclipse that occurred on April 20 is known as a hybrid eclipse because it consists of two separate eclipses occurring at the same time. These include a total solar eclipse, a brief total eclipse of the Sun, and an annular solar eclipse, a longer but incomplete eclipse in which a halo of plasma remains visible around the Moon.

It was the first hybrid eclipse in over a decade.

The new image consists of hundreds of images taken by Czech astrophotographers Petr Horak, Josef Koyal and Milan Hlua from Pebble Beach in New South Wales, according to Spaceweather.com.

The combined image showed the peak of the total solar eclipse, which lasted about a minute and was the only moment when the solar corona was fully visible. However, according to Horek, the details captured in the new image are “much more than the human eye can see.”

Astrophotographers were hoping to see the corona that day, but they also didn’t expect to see an explosion of a coronal mass ejection far from the Sun.

The solar corona was especially bright in the new image, reflecting an increase in solar activity as our star approaches the peak of the 11-year cycle that scientists expect to occur in the next few years.

The image also shows the iconic “diamond ring” phenomenon, where the sun begins to move from behind the moon as the eclipse ends.

Source: Living Science

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