How photos of the April 8 solar eclipse will help us understand of the sun’s atmosphere

There is a gap in our observations of the sun: Part of its atmosphere is effectively invisible to our telescopes. However, images taken from Earth during a solar eclipse are filling in that hole, providing an unprecedented look at our star’s hidden layer. 

But capturing these images requires expertise, special equipment and a lot of patience. . One of the few people who can take and process solar eclipse images so that they reveal some of the sun’s best-protected secrets is Czech mathematician Miloslav Druckmüller. His breathtaking renditions of the wispy, white rays and looping magnetic lines that make up the solar corona when it emerges to the human eye from the eclipsed sun are well known in solar physics circles. 

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