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Video Shows Mesmerizing Pattern Left By Trees During Solar Eclipse

solar eclipse shadows

The recent solar eclipse brought many strange and beautiful sights and sounds, including otherwordly shadows.

April’s celestial event was the last the United States would see for 20 years, so people celebrated the event by lining their front yards and staring at the sky. But not everything worth seeing was in the cosmos.

The lunar shift also created interesting projections on buildings, grass, and pavement. Some of those projections looked like thin crescent moons or rings. They happened because leaves acted as pinhole cameras and cast an image of what was happening in the sky onto the ground.

Leaves always cast images of the sun onto the ground. If you walk outside on a normal day, you’ll notice bright circles filtering through the shade of trees. We’re just used to seeing those shapes and often think nothing of them.

During an eclipse, the light coming from our star is also more focused. So while the typical projections come out a little blurry, eclipse projections are sharpened with better defined lines.

Other people also noticed shadow bands during the total solar eclipse. These look like wavey, watery images that show up on flat surfaces. Shadow bands aren’t as easily explained away—or explained at all. Scientists believe they’re caused by turbulence in Earth’s atmosphere, which is what makes the stars appear to twinkle, but that theory has yet to be proven.

On April 8th, scientists set up several studies to hopefully solve the mystery of shadow bands. So we may have an answer by the time the U.S. has another total solar eclipse.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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