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The eclipse was rubbish from Earth but great from space

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ESA

Somewhat ironically, the Sun was a bit of a no-show during today's solar eclipse. Would-be astronomers in northern Europe were expecting to be "plunged into total darkness," but instead found themselves blinking at slightly-dimmer-than-usual clouds, with bad weather hiding the Sun for many watchers. Sadly, "plunged into sort-of twilight" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Thankfully, not all of the observers were stuck under clouds. The European Space Agency (ESA) tweeted the magnificent picture at the top of this story, showing the eclipse as seen by the Proba-2 mini-satellite. The craft's SWAP imager captured the image with ultraviolet light to reveal the Sun's corona — an atmosphere of incredibly hot plasma that surrounds all stars. (Unfortunately, a much-shared picture that claimed to show the eclipse from onboard the International Space Station is a well-known fake.)

For reference, here's what a solar eclipse really looks like from the ISS in a picture from 1999: