Baily's beads

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Bai·ly's beads

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.

[After Francis Baily (1774-1844), British astronomer who first observed them in 1836.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Baily's beads

pl n
(Astronomy) 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 and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

Bai′ly's beads′

(ˈbeɪ liz)
spots of sunlight encircling the moon immediately before and after a total solar eclipse.
[1865–70; after Francis Baily (1774–1844), English astronomer]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
1715 - Edmund Halley observes total eclipse phenomenon "Baily's Beads"
Philipp Salzgeber Dramatic prominences, crimson chromosphere, and Baily's beads all vie for attention during this sequence shot at third contact.
As totality approaches, only the low-lying valleys on the moon's edge allow sunlight through, forming bright spots of light called Baily's Beads. The last of the sunlight streaming through the moon's valley creates a single bright flash of light on the side of the moon.
With which natural phenomena are Baily's Beads associated?
Totally bored, totally disappointed and totally ready to launch a brick at the telly the next time some beardy weirdy started going on about Baily's beads, 1999, the DON'T Prof Brian corona or the cosmic spin.
Totality was short but this meant that the apparent diameter of the Moon would be only slightly larger than that of the Sun, so we should see impressive Baily's Beads, prominences and chromosphere.
First there will be the specks of light round the blackness known as Baily's Beads which are formed by the last rays of sunshine cutting through moon valleys.
After a couple of minutes (that seem like seconds) the end of totality is heralded by Baily's beads, the aptly-named phenomenon where tiny chinks of the solar surface shine through lunar valleys at the edge of the moon.