Baily's Beads Definition

Dots or patches of sunlight visible along the edge of the darkened moon's disk in the seconds before and after totality during a full solar eclipse, caused by sunlight passing through valleys in the moon's uneven topography.
American Heritage
Bright spots visible along the rim of the moon during a total eclipse of the sun, just before or after totality, caused by sunlight passing through the moon's valleys and clefts.
Webster's New World

Origin of Baily's Beads

  • After Francis Baily (1774–1844), British astronomer who first observed them in 1836

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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