Image: Total solar eclipse

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Best eclipse images

See stunning images from past solar eclipses going back to the 1920s.

24 PHOTOS
Watching Safely

Fun in the '50s

Two women share a safety filter to watch a solar eclipse on June 30, 1954, from London's Fleet Street.

Evening Standard / Hulton Archive
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REUTERS PHOTOGRAPHER IAN WALDIE WINS PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Eyes on the sky

Members of the British Astronomers Association set up their telescopes and cameras in preparation for the August 1999 total solar eclipse. Observers should never look directly at a partial solar eclipse through telescopes or binoculars without protective measures.

Ian Waldie / X00490
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Now You See It

Totality in the '20s

Londoners peer at a solar eclipse through smoked glass on June 29, 1927. Today, experts say the best way to see a partial solar eclipse is by using special filters or an indirect viewing system such as a pinhole camera. The total phase of the eclipse can be seen safely by the naked eye, but if even a bit of the sun's disk is showing, gazing at the eclipse too long could damage the eyes.

H. F. Davis / Hulton Archive
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CHILDREN TRY OUT THEIR PROTECTIVE GLASSES FOR THE ECLIPSE

Ga-ga over glasses

Children attending the Helston School Eclipse Science Camp in England try out their protective glasses on the day before the total solar eclipse of Aug. 11, 1999. The school organized a project to send science activity packs and safety information to other schools throughout Britain.

Russell Boyce / X00036
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Image: Solar eclipse

Shadow watching

Chinese viewers watch the sun being blocked by the moon in Gaotai, Gansu province, during a solar eclipse on Aug. 1, 2008.

Aly Song / X01793
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A combination photograph of the moon passing between the sun and the earth during an annular solar eclipse as seen from Bandar Lampung

Ring of fire

A series of photographs shows the moon passing between the sun and Earth during the annular solar eclipse of Jan. 26, 2009, as seen from Bandar Lampung in Indonesia. The photographs were taken with a solar filter on the lens.

Beawiharta / X01068
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ECLIPSE

Sun-watching sunbathers

A couple looks at October 2005's annular eclipse with special glasses on a beach in Gandia in eastern Spain.

Fernando Bustamante / AP
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SOLAR ECLIPSE

Cloud cover

The sun is seen during a partial solar eclipse in Chennai (Madras), India, on Oct. 3, 2005.

M. Lakshman / AP
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Solar Eclipse Multiple Exposure Composite As It Is Viewed From The Famous Blue Mosque In Istanbul T

Holy sight

A multiple-exposure photo captures the moon's movement across the disk of the sun on Aug. 11, 1999, as seen from the famous Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. This was the last total solar eclipse of the 20th century.

Ali Kabas / Getty Images North America
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The sun's corona is a tenuous outer atmosphere composed of streams of energetic charged particles, but it is only easily seen from Earth during a total solar eclipse. For example, this 1991 image of totality from atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii forms a fleeting snapshot of the mysterious corona's beautiful, intricate structures and streams. However in space, instruments can use occulting disks to simulate eclipses and more readily monitor the corona beyond the sun's edge. Combined observations from the space-based SOHO UCVS and shuttle-borne Spartan 201 experiments have recently contributed to a major advance in understanding the high-speed component of the wind of particles in the corona. They reveal evidence for magnetic waves within the corona itself that push solar wind particles along, like an ocean wave gives a surfer a ride. Surprisingly, heavier charged particles can surf the magnetic waves faster - oxygen ions were found to achieve speeds of up to 500 miles per second, faster than the lighter hydrogen ions which make up most of the solar wind.

Solar streams

The sun's corona is a tenuous outer atmosphere composed of streams of energetic charged particles, but it is seen easily from Earth only during a total solar eclipse. This 1991 image of totality from atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii, provides a fleeting glimpse of the corona's intricate structures and streams.

High Altitude Observatory, Ncar
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SOLAR ECLIPSE

Eclipses everywhere

An employee at a department store in Hamburg, Germany, watches an array of televisions during broadcast coverage of the total solar eclipse of August 1999.

Michael Probst / AP
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SHIFRIN

Boxed in

Wendy Shifrin of South Lee, Mass., uses a box fitted with welders' glass to view a partial solar eclipse from New York's Central Park on Dec. 25, 2000. People in the Northeast saw the moon blot out as much as 60 percent of the sun around midday. The next partial Christmas eclipse, according to astronomers, will be in 2307.

Tina Fineberg / AP
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A man fishes on the Rio de la Plata 21 June 2001 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the first eclipse of the new millennium. AFP PHOTO/Miguel MENDEZ

Red sky at morning

The new moon covers up part of the sun during an eclipse seen from a fishing spot on the Rio de la Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on June 21, 2001.

Miguel Mendez / AFP
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Bulgarian children look at the annular e

A bitten sun in Bulgaria

Bulgarian children look at a partial solar eclipse through a telescope in the Black Sea port of Varna on Oct. 3, 2005.

Str / AFP
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Combo of three pictures showing an annul

Lord of the ring

A sequence of three pictures, taken from the Portuguese city of Arguzelo, shows the progress of the annular eclipse on Oct. 3, 2005. In an annular eclipse, a thin ring of the sun's disk remains visible around the dark disk of the moon.

Nicolas Asfouri / AFP
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Portuguese villager Jose Preto, 78 years old, watches the progress of the solar eclipse, through a pair of special sun-blocking glasses, while tending a flock of sheep  at Rio de Onor, Braganca, northern Portugal, near the Spanish border, Monday, Oct. 3, 2005.  Thousands of people gathered across Portugal and Spain on Monday morning to catch a glimpse of a rare and spectacular type of solar eclipse. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte)

Skywatching shepherd

Portuguese villager Jose Preto, 78, watches the progress of the October 2005 annular solar eclipse through radiation-blocking glasses while tending a flock of sheep at Rio de Onor.

Paulo Duarte / AP
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A man looks at the annular eclipse of th

Sliver of sun

A man looks through a filter at an annular solar eclipse from La Linea in southern Spain on Oct. 3, 2005. In an annular eclipse, the moon moves between the sun and Earth but does not completely cover the solar disk, due to the orbital mechanics involved.

Jose Luis Roca / AFP
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Annular eclipse is projected onto at a girl's tongue as she looks at the sky over the Jordanian capital Amman

A taste of the sun

A partial solar eclipse is projected onto at a girl's tongue as she looks into the sky over the Jordanian capital Amman on Oct. 3, 2005.

Ali Jarekji / X00137
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ECLIPSE

Do-it-yourself astronomy

A man looks at the annular eclipse of October 2005 through a homemade cardboard tube with a filter taped over it, outside a planetarium in Pamplona, Spain.

Alvaro Barrientos / AP
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A "diamond necklace," formed by the sun's chromosphere and prominences ringing the moon during an annular solar eclipse.
Date Photographed 
May 30, 1984 
 Location Information 
Picayune, Mississippi, USA

Diamond ring

An annular solar eclipse produces a "diamond ring" effect on May 30, 1984, as seen from Picayune, Miss.

Roger Ressmeyer
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Sun reflected on flower as moon blocks it, as seen in Amman

Flower power

In Amman, Jordan, the sun is reflected on a flower as the moon partially blocks it, forming a crescent during the solar eclipse of March 29, 2006.

Ali Jarekji / X00137
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Libyan youths watch the solar eclipse in

Desert spectacle

Libyan youths watch the total solar eclipse in the desert tourist camp in Galo on March 29, 2006, where thousands of astronomers and thrill-seekers gathered to view the sight.

Khaled Desouki / AFP
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A young Lebanese shepherd carries a goat as he watches a partial solar eclipse in the village of Bqosta, near the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, Wednesday, March 29, 2006. In Lebanon the Education Ministry ordered all public schools closed for the day with advice to families to keep children indoors during the solar eclipse which started around noon. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)

Protecting the flock

A young Lebanese shepherd carries a goat as he watches a partial solar eclipse in the village of Bqosta, near the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, on March 29. Both the shepherd and the goat are wearing protective eyewear.

Mohammed Zaatari / AP
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 (29 Mar. 2006) --- The shadow of the moon falls on Earth as seen from the International Space Station, 230 miles above the planet, during a total solar eclipse at about 4:50 a.m. CST Wednesday, March 29. This digital photo was taken by the Expedition 12 crew, Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev, who are wrapping up a six-month mission on the complex. Visible near the shadow are portions of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea and the coast of Turkey.

View from space

Astronauts aboard the international space station snapped this picture from 230 miles above Earth as the shadow of the moon fell on the planet during a total solar eclipse on March 29, 2006. Visible near the shadow are portions of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea and the coast of Turkey.

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