Baily's beads

Baily's beads

[bey-leez]
plural noun
spots of light that appear to encircle the moon, resembling a string of luminous beads, visible immediately before and after a total eclipse, caused by the sun's light shining between the mountains on the moon's surface.


Origin:
named after Francis Baily (1774–1844), English astronomer who first described them

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World English Dictionary
Baily's beads (ˈbeɪlɪz)
 
pl n
the brilliant points of sunlight that appear briefly around the moon, just before and after a total eclipse
 
[C19: named after Francis Baily (died 1844), English astronomer who described them]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
Baily's beads   (bā'lēz)  Pronunciation Key 
A discontinuous, beadlike pattern of sunlight visible along the edge of the darkened Moon's disk in the seconds before and after totality during a full solar eclipse. The pattern is caused by light shining through the uneven lunar topography silhouetted along the curved edges of the disk. Baily's beads are named after British astronomer Francis Baily (1774-1844), who first observed them in 1836.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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