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What was that red spot at the bottom of the moon during the eclipse?

During totality, some eclipse viewers could see a red burst that's actually a rare occurrence called a solar prominence.
What was that red spot at the bottom of the moon during the eclipse?
Posted at 12:07 PM, Apr 09, 2024

During Monday afternoon's total solar eclipse, multiple things happened when the moon covered the sun. 

Before parts of northeast Ohio turned dark, a phenomenon called the Bailey's Beads effect occurred. The Baily's Beads effect is a phenomenon in which sunlight peeks through a valley on the surface of the moon.

During totality, a red burst could be seen at the bottom of the moon. The red burst is a rare occurrence called a solar prominence.

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A solar prominence is something that typically can't be seen with the naked eye, and we were only able to see it because the moon was blocking the sun. The prominence is plasma that can be described as bursting out from the sun's surface.

The bursts are extremely rare, and for it to be visible during totality was Mother Nature giving us a gift, meteorologist Trent Magill said.

Sadly, if you blinked and missed this year's solar prominence, you're going to have to wait 20 years for another chance to see it in the U.S. That is, unless you're willing to travel to parts of Greenland, Iceland, Spain or Russia to see the next total solar eclipse on Aug. 12, 2026.

This story was originally published by Maya Morita at Scripps News Cleveland.


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