Second Contact Baily's Beads - 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

In the last several seconds before the total eclipse begins, the crescent Sun breaks into a series of dazzlingly bright beads. These are formed by sunlight shinning through deep valleys along the irregular limb of the Moon. Francis Baily (Wikipedia) first described this effect after the annular eclipse of 1836. They are known as Baily's Beads in his honor.

The image above is a time sequence shot at 2 frames per second to capture the formation of Baily's Beads just before second contact (i.e., as totality begins). The bright red arc along the edge of the Moon is the Sun's chromosphere (Wikipedia) (a thin layer that sits just above the solar photosphere).

This image is available as a Custom Print.

Additional eclipse photos can be seen at: 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Photo Gallery.

For more information on this event, see: EclipseWise 2017 Total Solar Eclipse.

Technical Details



2017 Eclipse Links

2017 Total Solar Eclipse Photo Gallery

Custom Prints of 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

EclipseWise 2017 Total Solar Eclipse



Books about the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse


Eclipse Bulletin:
Total Solar Eclipse of 2017


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Road Atlas for the
Total Solar Eclipse of 2017


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Totality - Great
American Eclipses
of 2017 and 2024


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Get Eclipsed


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More Eclipse Books at Astropixels Publishing