Petals of Light

If the Faroese sky is clear on the morning of March 20 we may see something like this: the Sun’s corona seeming to flood out from behind the Moon at the moment when the far brighter surface (the photosphere) becomes hidden.


The details are always different, depending on what is happening on the Sun’s tumultuous surface at the time. This is an admittedly stylized impression of what it was like at the great eclipse of 1991 July 11, which, in contrast to the coming one, happened almost overhead in Mexico. I didn’t use this but a slightly more restrained version on page 63 of To Know the Stars.

One thought on “Petals of Light”

  1. Sorry,, I think I messed up on this post,,, but wish I was with you on the cruise as through the caribean,, only instead of green flashes, you’ll have green auroras…
    Who sees Venus first? Did you see shadow bands last time? Hope you get to see them now.
    And why didn’t you mention how coincidental the new moon/eclipse and equinox, spring as we USA-ers would call it,,,,, but messing up on getting this to you,,, my fault, not yours….
    Best viewing to you.
    5:53 PM (1 hour ago)

    to SpaceWeather.c.
    Space Weather News for March 19, 2015

    ARCTIC ECLIPSE: On March 20th, the first day of northern spring, Arctic sky watchers could witness something rare and wonderful: Northern Lights during a total eclipse of the sun. Earth’s magnetic field is reverberating from a CME strike on March 17th that sparked the strongest geomagnetic storm of the current solar cycle. Days after the impact, auroras are still dancing around the Arctic Circle. Those auroras could emerge in “broad daylight” this Friday when the new Moon passes in front of the Arctic sun, producing a total eclipse visible from Svalbard, the Faroe Islands, and many ships at sea. Visit for a preview and updates during the eclipse.

    DID YOU SLEEP THROUGH THE ST. PATRICK’S DAY AURORAS? Subscribers to our Space Weather Alert Service were notified by phone moments after the CME hit and they received constant updates as the storm intensified. Sign up for the service at (text) or (voice)

Leave a Reply to Jack Cancel reply