BEACON TRANSCRIPT – The view of the moon covering the sun was not the only thing which caught the attention of people during the eclipse, as they remained baffled by other phenomena taking place at the same time. Right before and after an eclipse, you can see weird shadows offering one of the most incredible views you’ve ever witnessed.
How do the weird shadows form?
During eclipses, people can see how shadows get distorted, looking like crescents or snakes. This phenomenon, called shadow band, is quite mysterious, as scientists haven’t managed to find a clear explanation to why it happens. However, NASA has some theories, and tried to make them as clear as possible.
It seems that the motion and direction of the light bands, as well as the intensity to which their shine, is determined by a similar mechanism lying behind twinkling stars. Before the eclipse, the atmosphere of Earth fills with ‘agitated’ air particles which act just like lenses. Their movement causes them to focus and de-focus the sun rays, forming crescent-shaped light patterns on the ground.
Many people were more excited about the shadows than the actual eclipse
— Jayme Fraser (@JaymeKFraser) 21 august 2017
People were baffled by this view, so they stormed on Twitter and filled it with amazing photos of the phenomenon. In fact, many of them appeared more excited by the little dance of the shadow bands than by the show put up by the eclipse. For some, the shadows were the true stars of the day.
The shadow band truly offered an amazing spectacle, but they also brought a good thing. Now, people know what to expect for the upcoming eclipses. This is good to know, as the next total eclipse is announced for 2019. Unfortunately, it will be visible in South America, but United States will be blessed with another similar phenomenon in 2024.
Image: Twitter @Advil