Baily's beads

Baily's beads

Baily's beads seen during a total-annular eclipse on May 30, 1984. Photo by Richard Sweetsir.

Baily's beads are small "beads" of sunlight that shine through the valleys on the limb of the Moon in the instant before (or after) totality in a solar eclipse. They are named after the English astronomer Francis Baily who first drew attention to them in 1836.


See also diamond ring effect.