I didn't know that in photographs of total solar eclipses you could see details of the Moon's night.

To my surprise, look at this beautiful photo of the solar eclipse of 2024/04/23 taken by amateur astronomer Phil Hart: the lunar mare and the craters Tycho and Copernicus are perfectly visible!

enter image description here

The link to the author's website where the image appears is:

Exmouth Eclipse Expedition - 20th April 2023

I have searched for other photos of total solar eclipses but in none of the others that I have seen, you can see mare and craters.

Why? What do you think?

Thanks and best regards

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What the author writes under the image sounds pretty plausible - 48 seconds of exposure in many images, and post-processing to eliminate areas with sunlight bleeding into the dark Moon. $\endgroup$
    – asdfex
    Commented Mar 7 at 10:58

1 Answer 1


In short, this photo was created by combining several different images from several different cameras. As noted by asdfex in the comments, the one that captured the earthshine was using 1/25 second exposures:

The best Earthshine data I have is the integration of 1200 video frames from scope #2 (1/25 sec, f8). These yield a net integration time of 48 seconds (the entire duration of totality) but with each frame being so short, it helped limit the light bleed from the solar features.

The problem with using a single camera is insufficient dynamic range. If you exposed the image long enough to see earthshine, you'd almost certainly overexposure ("blow out") the fine details of the corona. If you have a short enough exposure to capture the corona details, you won't get any details of the earthshine. Different cameras were used to capture different levels of details, and the results were combined in post-processing.

Regarding other photos, in fact, there are several. Google earthshine solar eclipse.

enter image description here Credit Miguel Claro https://www.space.com/total-solar-eclipse-2019-earthshine-photo.html

enter image description here Credit Peter Ward https://medium.com/@jamieacarter/how-one-photographer-captured-earthshine-during-last-year-s-solar-eclipse-in-wyoming-8d75f76f0801


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