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Watch This Incredible Time Lapse of the Annular Solar Eclipse

by Brandon Russell | May 22, 2012May 22, 2012 11:00 pm PST

SunMy first immediate thought after watching this eclipse, which is often referred to as “Ring of Fire,” was that I should listen to more Johnny Cash. My other thought was that the video below looks a lot like some sort of science experiment waiting to go wrong.

It’s actually much more awesome than either of those.

During the annular solar eclipse that took place on May 20, Cory Poole, a science teacher at University Preparatory School in Redding, CA, composed a video that contains 700 frames captured by a Coronado Solar Max 60 Double Stack telescope. The technology used by Poole alone sounds like the single coolest piece of gadgetry I’ve ever heard of. According to Poole, “The telescope has a very narrow bandpass allowing you to see the chromosphere and not the much brighter photosphere below it.”

You’re like, seeing into the sun’s soul, man.

In case you were unaware such an event was happening, you’ll have plenty of time to prepare for the next one; the last visible annular eclipse took place in 1994, and the next one isn’t expected until 2023.

“An annular eclipse happens when the moon lines up between Earth and the sun,” National Geographic explained. “But in this case, the dark moon’s apparent diameter is smaller than the visible disk of the sun, leaving a ring—or annulus—of fiery light around the edges.”

I hope nobody here looked at the eclipse without wearing some sort of solar shades, because that would be dumb. I sure didn’t. Ok, I did.

[via Mashable, National Geographic]

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...