A mesmerising – and award winning – image of the Sun in eclipse

During a total eclipse that swept across the United States in August 2017, thousands of professional and amateur photographers alike tried their hands at capturing the glory of the Sun’s shimmering corona. Nicolas Lefaudeux of France captured this remarkable view near Unity, Oregon, winning first place in the “Our Sun” category of the 2018 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition organised by the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Total eclipse of the Sun as seen from Unity, Oregon, on 21 August, 2017. Image: Nicolas Lefaudeux

The sun’s outer atmosphere can be traced out to a distance of 30 solar radii with blue Regulus shining to the left and reddish Mars to the far right (see below). A total exposure of 100 seconds was recorded in more than 120 images both a fast f/1.4 lens at full aperture and a large buffer camera at base ISO to avoid overexposure. Lefaudeux’s spectacular image, along with other contest winners in different categories, is on display at the National Maritime Museum in London.

Image: Nicolas Lefaudeux