ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – You know to expect darkness during today’s eclipse, and the visibility of stars and planets, and birds and crickets. But are you ready for Bailey’s beads?
“(It’s) pearls of sunlight that shines though the valleys and the mountains of the moon, so basically when the moon goes over the sun, you’re going to be seeing the mountains and the valleys around the edge of the moon over the front of the sun,” says Journalist Alina Bradford.
She says be sure you’re wearing your eclipse glasses as you look for the beads. They will probably be reddish in color as they expose the upper atmosphere of the sun known as the chromosphere.
The name is in honor of Francis Bailey, the first to give an exact explanation of the phenomenon way back in 1836. St. Louis’ notorious humidity might also work in our favor.
“If you’re lucky enough to have a lot of humidity and water vapor in the air during the eclipse, light will come through the water vapor and create little rainbows around the eclipse,” Bradford says.
If you can tear your eclipse glasses away from the sky for a minute, look down on the ground and you may see Shadow Bands.
“Basically they’re bands of shadows that slither across the ground during an eclipse,” Bradford says. She says they remain somewhat of a mystery to experts.
“Scientists are still studying them and they’re very excited to study them during this eclipse,” she says.
Shadow Bands are most visible on light colors, so you will want to look at concrete or sand or lay a white sheet on the ground.