A stunning solar eclipse video unlike any you've ever seen

Last month, residents of northern Australia had an exclusive opportunity to observe Earth's last total solar eclipse until 2015. Photographer Colin Legg captured the event on camera and produced the beautiful timelapse video pictured up top. It's a remarkably simple clip, and over in a matter of seconds, but it's shot from an unusually high vantage point that allowed Legg to capture the dramatic sweep of the Moon's shadow. The swing of the satellite's silhouette often goes unnoticed by skygazers, but Legg's timelapse reveals it is nothing short of incredible to behold.

NASA's APOD gives a play-by-play description of Legg's footage:

As the video begins, a slight dimming of the Sun and the surrounding Earth is barely perceptible. Suddenly, as the Moon moves to cover nearly the entire Sun, darkness sweeps in from the left — the fully blocked part of the Sun. At totality, only the bright solar corona extends past the edges of the Moon, and darkness surrounds you. Distant horizons are still bright, though, as they are not in the darkest part of the shadow. At mid-totality the darkness dips to the horizon below the eclipsed Sun, created by the shadow cone — a corridor of shadow that traces back to the Moon. As the total solar eclipse ends — usually after a few minutes — the process reverses and Moon's shadow moves off to the other side.


Check out more of Legg's work on his vimeo and facebook pages.

[Colin Legg via explore + NASA APOD]

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...Is the sun really that small? It seems to shrink loads. Is that because the atmosphere blurs it out a bit and its brightness makes the blur look like part of the actual sun?