What are Baily’s Beads, Diamond Ring?

There is more to a solar eclipse than totality, including the interesting science behind the solar-eclipse-2024-live-updates-photos-video-forecast”>eclipse phases along the path to a total solar eclipse.

On April 8, a total solar eclipse will be visible across parts of the U.S., from Texas to Maine. A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun for several minutes. 

From partial eclipse through totality, the process takes several hours. The final moments before totality include displays of light known as Baily’s Beads and the Diamond Ring caused by the pock-marked surface of the Moon.

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Here are a few eclipse phases to know before April 8:

A partial eclipse makes the Sun look like a crescent shape, which will start early into the eclipse and happen after totality. One of the first places in the U.S. to see a partial eclipse will be Eagle Pass, Texas, at 12:55 p.m. CT.

Caribou, Maine, will be one of the last cities in the U.S. to experience the eclipse starting at 2:22 p.m. ET before it heads into Maritime Canada and out over the Atlantic Ocean after 4:40 p.m. ET.

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Just before totality, the final two stages of an eclipse happen. In Eagle Pass, with totality at 1:23 p.m. CT, you can look out for Baily’s Beads just a few minutes before the total solar eclipse.

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The total solar eclipse Monday August 21, 2017 in Madras, Oregon. (Credit: ROB KERR/AFP via Getty Images)

Baily’s Beads is named after British astronomer Francis Baily, who discovered the eclipse phenomenon. This effect looks like beads of light poking out from around the Moon’s shadow. It happens because the Moon’s rugged terrain allows sunlight to pass through before totality. 

Eventually, the beads disappear and become one bright spot of sunlight resembling a giant diamond in the sky, with the Sun’s atmosphere forming the ring’s band. Seeing the Diamond Ring is a sign that totality is almost there.

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During Baily’s Beads and Diamond Ring, you still need to keep your eclipse glasses on. Only during the few minutes of totality is it safe to remove your glasses.

This will be the last time a total solar eclipse passes over a large part of the U.S. until 2044.

Find more updates on this story at FOXWeather.com.

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