Changing Planet

Stunning Snapshots of Sunday’s Solar Eclipse

This amazing shot of the partial solar eclipse on the morning of November 3 was taken from Kearny, New Jersey, on a hill overlooking Manhattan. Credit: Chris Cook

Sky-watchers in most of the Western Hemisphere were treated to a rare solar eclipse on November 3, and many captured picture-postcard views, particularly at sunrise.

The moon’s dark shadow appeared to eat away at the face of the sun on Sunday, November 3, giving lucky sky-watchers in most of equatorial Africa a view of a total eclipse. Those watching along the eastern coast of North America, northern South America, southern Europe, and the Middle East saw a stunning partial eclipse at sunrise.

Although the Earth crosses between the moon and the sun every month, a total solar eclipse occurs only when the three celestial bodies are perfectly aligned so that the moon casts its dark central shadow (called the umbra) onto a very narrow strip along the surface of the Earth.

Here are samples of some of the amazing snapshots that captured the breathtaking beauty of the eclipse.

A view out the window of a plane flying over th e Atlantic ocean offers a unique perspective of the darkness occuring during the brief moments of a total solar eclipse.  Credit: Ben Cooper
A view out the window of a plane flying over th e Atlantic ocean offers a unique perspective of the darkness occuring during the brief moments of a total solar eclipse. Credit: Ben Cooper

In just over the course of 3.3 hours, the moon’s dark shadow touched down 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) east of Jacksonville, Florida, at sunrise. The path of the totalitywhere the entire solar disk is coveredthen raced across the open north Atlantic Ocean and through central Africa, until the lunar shadow left the Earth’s surface in Somalia at local sunset. In total, the moon’s shadow traveled a path of some 8,450 miles (13,600 kilometers) across the globe.

THree sleepy chilren bask in the partially eclipsed sunrise from Holden Beach, North Carolina. Credit: Tavi Greiner
Sleepy sky-watchers and seagulls bask in the partially eclipsed sunrise from Holden Beach, North Carolina. Credit: Tavi Greiner



A pier on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Willmington, North Carlina sets the seen for a special eclipse sunrise. Credit: Conrad Pope
A pier on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Wilmington, North Carolina, sets the scene for a special eclipse sunrise. Credit: Conrad Pope

“With the passage of a cold front the day before, the weather was perfect. The sun rose from the ocean and was distorted by the temperature difference between the air and the ocean,” said photographer Conrad Pope.

“I’ve seen many eclipses and many more sunrises, but none looked like this.”

The next solar eclipse will occur on April 29, 2014, when the moon’s shadow path will cross over Antarctica. A partial eclipse will be visible again from North America on October 29, 2014.

Follow Andrew Fazekas, the Night Sky Guy, on Twitter and Facebook.

Andrew Fazekas, aka The Night Sky Guy, is a science writer, broadcaster, and lecturer who loves to share his passion for the wonders of the universe through all media. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic News and is the national cosmic correspondent for Canada’s Weather Network TV channel, space columnist for CBC Radio network, and a consultant for the Canadian Space Agency. As a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Andrew has been observing the heavens from Montreal for over a quarter century and has never met a clear night sky he didn’t like.
  • thalia esther hdezperez

    una verdadera maravilla los eclipses solares …felicitaciones para el (los) fotografos por el don que tiene para captar las maravillas del mundo y mirarlas y admirarlas millones de veces

  • MD Othman

    We could partially observed the event over Salamanca, Spain but it was an occasion to be remembered a lifetime…it was on my birthday!

  • Antoinette Amegbletor

    Stunning! This capture of the solar Eclipes takes my breath away!
    I could not get to watch the event as was not having protection for my eyes, am happy I have the opportunity to see this here,thanks to Nagoe.
    Well done for sharing Andrew,I have enjoyed viewing.

  • soliman hassan

    I have some photos for the eclipse taken from Alexandria Egypt how can I send it to be showed

  • Abraham Jos

    How rare is this? I guess its never happened before. And, how come, such a rare occurrence is not talked about by other media??!!

  • Alejandra Patricia Vilchis Martinez


  • karen

    LOVE IT ……..

  • Miriam Santa Maria

    Desde aquí no se podía ver,pero en estas fotos se percibe lo impresionante que es un eclipse solar,ya sea total o parcial.Gracias por compartirlo.

  • D. Young


  • juni salman

    great view

  • katherine


  • El Gabilon

    Stuning? Amazing? We admit that the photo is beautiful, but as for the eclipse we give it a thumbs down. These shots should have contained several as the eclipse progressed until such time as a total eclipse was reached and one could see the corona.. Surely someone must have photos of that!
    The photographer seems to have gotten carried away by the color of the sky rather than concentrating on the eclipse itself, which after all was the reason he was there.

  • takom

    love Nat geo


    It was an awesome scene to behold,though not dark bt we in africa saw a very beautiful atmoshere.this will live long in the heart of men.

  • Mark Hess

    Bravo Tavi Greinef, great shot from Holden Bch ,NC. I too had an eclipse shot picked up by Fox NewsNational broadcast and one local channel. Great job!

  • michele

    Congrats on this great shot.

  • ilyn billao

    mesmerizing phenomena!!wonderful photos

  • pedro jesus pato b


  • M. Chase

    Solar eclipses are a miracle of nature. They are beautiful in every way, and I cannot wait for the 2017 solar eclipse nearby!

  • Frank Reed

    Fun with astronomical position-finding… Your caption for the photo by Chris Cook of the eclipse over the NYC skyline is a bit incorrect. Astronomical clues (the azimuth and angular diameter of the Sun) and foreground features allow the location of the photographer to be pinned down within about TEN FEET (!). He was located right at the entrance to the James Zadroga Memorial Soccer Field with is located in North Arlington, NJ, not in neighboring Kearny, NJ as stated in your caption. Go here: 40.787014,-74.123848 (lat, lon) to see the exact skyline view (minus the eclipse). That means, by the way, that the skyline in that beautiful photo is really TWO skylines: Manhattan and, in front of it, Union City, New Jersey. The church steeple just below the Sun is St. Joseph’s in Union City.

  • ed

    love the stars

  • Nathan Willett

    nice FAKE photo. anyone with a brain would know that the sun is not even close to that big. but as a photoshop artist im sure you will do great

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