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10 weird things that happen during a solar eclipse

On Oct. 14, a partial solar eclipse will be visible in the skies above North, Central and South America, and parts of the Americas will see an annular solar eclipse. This “ring of fire” eclipse will not completely blot out the sun like the total solar eclipse in 2017.  However, the moon will block up to 90% of the sun’s disk, depending on the viewer’s location.  (To see the next total eclipse, you’ll have to wait until April 8, 2024.)

Even though the upcoming eclipse won’t be total, it should still be spectacular — and it may still have a few freaky effects. An eclipse “is the most unnatural natural phenomenon you’ll ever experience,” Tyler Nordgren, an astronomer, artist and author who frequently works with the National Park Service, told Live Science in an interview. Here are a few of the weird things that you might experience during a solar eclipse.

1. Baily’s beads

Baily’s Beads, total eclipse of the Sun, Turkey, 29 March 2006. (Image credit: Jamie Cooper / Contributor via Getty Images)

If you view a total or annular solar eclipse (safely, with appropriate eye protection), you might notice a sliver of light around the moon’s edge that appears beaded, like a necklace. This phenomenon is known as “Baily’s beads.” Named for astronomer Francis Baily, who described the effect in 1836, it is caused by sunlight interacting with the moon’s uneven topography.

2. Solar prominences

A prominence observed along the right edge of the sun rose up and then most of it bent back down to the surface on Oct. 4, 2016. (Image credit: NASA/JPL)

Solar prominences, also known as filaments, are huge plasma-and-magnetic-field structures that arise from the sun’s surface. Normally, we can’t see these protuberances from Earth. But during an eclipse, they may be visible behind the moon, appearing like petals on a flower.

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