The Earth would have a thin red ring around it, where sunlight is scattered by the atmosphere, right? Would the corona of the sun be very visible?


It would look a lot like this:

kayuga probe eclipse

These images were taken by the SELENE (Kaguya) probe in Feb 2009 during a penumbral eclipse. They were not taken from the surface, but from a 50km orbit. Because of the negligible atmosphere on the moon, I assume there wouldn't be much difference. You can find other images in their gallery.

You can also see this in video form, both on the JAXA site and YouTube.

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    $\begingroup$ All links are now dead except one video, so I've embedded a viewer for it. This is an excellent example of the fact that links rot and why link-only answers are strongly discouraged! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 21 '18 at 1:29
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh - but thanks for going to the trouble: a glorious view. Now I'll have "Also Sprach Zarathustra" as an earworm for the day... $\endgroup$ – Tom Goodfellow Aug 21 '18 at 7:20
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    $\begingroup$ @TomGoodfellow I was confused momentarily (I didn't hear anything) but then remembered a very special, very Kubrick movie from 1968 ;-) $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 21 '18 at 10:45

NASA have already produced their impression of what it is likely to look like. Sciencenotes.org has this picture from NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

enter image description here

And if you want to see a full animation, NASA Scientific Visualization Studio also has this.

From their work it appears the corona would be very visible as with the Earth blocking out all direct light, the eye will be able to make out the faint corona. It is, after all, the principle by which various solar observatories work. The red ring around the Earth also should be obvious - it is the sun's light being refracted through the Earth's atmosphere.

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting. It happens that the apparent size of the sun and the moon is very similar from Earth, which is why Earth-based solar eclipses look as they do; from the moon, the Earth should appear four times the size of the sun, so I would have expected to see almost no evidence of the sun in the moon-based solar eclipse. $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Oct 8 '14 at 15:29
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    $\begingroup$ Is it the corona, or is it the sun's light being bent by the earth's atmosphere? $\endgroup$ – Rikki-Tikki-Tavi Oct 8 '14 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ The redness of the moon when it is in the Earth's penumbra is because of the red light of a 'ring of sunsets and sunrises' around the limbs of the Earth. $\endgroup$ – kim holder Oct 8 '14 at 15:42
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    $\begingroup$ I suppose if there was a real solar flare during the eclipse, that would be pretty visible? And probably gorgeous... $\endgroup$ – kim holder Oct 8 '14 at 18:03
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    $\begingroup$ But then again, humans will find patterns in everything. If you look closely, the sizes aren't even an exact match. They are just close enough :-) $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop Oct 9 '14 at 13:34

I did find this artist's interpretation and a discussion at Earthsky

Eclipse of the moon as seen from the lunar surface

  • $\begingroup$ I wonder if this might be more realistic. It shows the corona and a very thin red ring, it strikes me as more to scale but i don't know. $\endgroup$ – kim holder Oct 8 '14 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ I'm guessing the NASA one is more likely. I think while the corona is large, it is also very faint as you get further from the sun. $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop Oct 8 '14 at 16:15

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