In Studio: Berkeley Research Physicist, Marc Pulupa, joins KRON4 Eclipse Countdown

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Millions of Americans had their eyes in the sky this morning, as they witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime event.

UC Berkeley Research Physicist, Marc Pulupa, joined the KRON4 Eclipse Countdown to shed some light on the science behind this rare phenomenon.

He explains that the part of the sun you can see only during an eclipse, is called the corona.

The corona makes up one of the hottest part of the sun’s atmosphere, registering at over one million degrees.

To give you some grounds for comparison, the surface of the sun is “only” 6,000 degrees Pulupa says.

“We don’t understand really yet, why that is,” he said.

So why is it that we can only see this part of the sun during an eclipse?

“Normally, the disc of the sun is so much brighter than the corona, that you can’t see the corona at all,” he explains.

Hence, the corona can only be seen when the moon blocks the overpowering light of the disc.

For more fun eclipse facts, watch the full interview above!



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