Solar eclipses and science

ABC's Ned Potter on the rare opportunity scientists are given to unlock the mysteries of the sun.
2:48 | 07/28/17

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Transcript for Solar eclipses and science
Across much of the world today from the Atlantic Ocean to India billions of people looked up to the sky and saw the last total solar eclipse of the millennium. And eclipse occurs when the moon crosses between the earth and the sun blocking the sun's light and if he stood on any one place on earth you'd only get to see a total eclipse once every 360. Years. So what happened to be standing in England that this was these spectacular view it very clear shot obscured only occasionally. By some cloud about wasn't enough 2500 dollars botch it ticket for right on Concord and a chance to. Chasing eclipsed maybe to France where this was the view from the astore beaches of Normandy or. Romanian tourists from all over the world came from one of the longest views it was more than two minutes long. And here's a different view of the one cosmonauts on the Mir space station saw as the moon shadow that dark area at the bottom center of the screen moved across the Earth's surface. But a solar eclipse like this is more than just a natural oddity it's a rare opportunity for scientists to try and unlock the mysteries of the sun. Here's ABC's Ned potter. The it is said that the great eclipse of 585. BC took place of the ancient Libyans were locked in battle with the needs. They settled their differences on the spot. In ancient times and eclipse is often taken as annulment. And oh usually an evil omen. But in modern times the miss Rios far different. For instance scientists are puzzled by the song stormy co won't have visible only in eclipses it reaches millions of miles into Wacey space. But it's far hotter blinding surface of the sun cell. The corona is two million degrees the surface of the sun a 6000 degrees why is the corona so much hotter than the surface the sun we don't know. The answers can directly affect life on earth because among other things understanding the coral them might help scientists predict solar flee years. In this age of delicate microelectronics. A giant flir can knock out satellites communications networks power grid. We live in the suns extended atmosphere. When the sun decides to berth for belch sometimes the earth is affected by and a space probes can now watch the corona full time but they cannot recreate the primal moment of in the clips. The sky gets dark. The birds come down to routes the Alice had for the Barnes everybody starts shouting. Even the professors and something that could stop a battle between the needs in the litigants must really be. Something amazing. Some fling them decent. At least until the sun here. At potter ABC news.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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