The unbelievable photos that arose from the March 9th total solar eclipse were extraordinary no doubt. But now NASA has gone one better by generating a composite view of the eclipse that makes the sun seem like the Eye of Sauron in Lord of the Rings. The composite photograph shows the solar corona, which is an aura of plasma that covers the sun and spreads millions of miles into space, as witnessed during the solar eclipse from both Earth and space.
The blue part in the image above shows the total eclipse from the ground, with the central pupil formed by the bright sun shielded by a moderately dark moon. Surrounding the clogged solar disk is the weak corona of sun seen in white light. The red portion was observed from space, picked up by the sun-orbiting Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft. The sun’s corona is simply visible from the ground only during an eclipse.
Eye of Sauron in Lord of the Rings