Just before the Moon has nearly blocked out the sun during the last few moments before totality, observers can see points and beads of light surrounding the edges of the Moon. They look like a string of luminous beads of light wrapped around the edges of the Moon and is the last string of light before darkness falls. They are appropriately named after the British astronomer Francis Baily (1774-1844) who first provided an exact explanation of the phenomenon in 1836 and who was one of the founders of the Royal Astronomical Society. Baily's Beads are caused by light shining through the rugged topography of the lunar limb where the edge of the Moon, with its valleys and mountains, allows beads of sunlight to shine through in some places but not in others.
Beautiful Darkness Descends
When the Moon completely obscures the Sun, daytime turns into darkness. The darkness is different to the darkness of night-time but is more like a dreamy soft darkness of magic. Street lamps switch on, and if the eclipse is on the coast, you can look across the dark bay and see the hum of distant neon lights, all one by one, light up. Birds stop flying and animals prepare to sleep, while others are completely confused. Often before the Total Eclipse the wind picks up and the breeze gets quite strong - then at the moment of totality the wind stops dead in its tracks, as through someone had switched-off a cooling fan. During the moments before totality the temperature gradually drops and it often feels cooler, then at the very moment of totality the temperature drops dramatically and is very noticeable, it can drop instantly by as much as 20c. There is stillness and complete quite, people begin to gasp at the wonder of it all and it is a truly an amazing sight. To actually be at and see a Total Solar Eclipse is one of the most amazing natural events a human can ever see. Watching and being part of the event is a wonderful and miraculous experience.
Planets and Stars Become Visible
Once the beautiful Baily's Beads have faded and the Sun is totally eclipsed another wonderful sight comes into view, the glow of the Solar Corona,
the only time the Sun can be safely viewed directly. Some of the brighter Stars and Planets may become visible and with no birds and bees flying,
the still air, the big drop in temperature and daytime turned into night, the Earth becomes strangely quite.
A Total Solar Eclipse, a three minute preview from the BBC TV series 'Wonder of the Solar System' presented by professor Brian Cox showing the Wonder of a Solar Eclipse Varanasi India