Eclipsed Suns - Multiple images of an eclipsed sun projected onto exquisitely decorated tiles inside Sheikh Lutfalla Mosque, Esfahan, Iran. Images by Mohamad Soltanolkotabi (site).

Panes of windows (below) in the drum of the single-shell dome act as giant pinholes to form the images.

The mosque dates to 1617 and is among the finest expressions of Safavid (1501-1760) Iranian architecture.

Images ©Mohamad Soltanolkotabi, shown with permission.

The images are formed by simple geometric projection of rays through a hole small compared to the distance between it and the screen.

Somewhat smaller devices are pinhole cameras. The smaller the pinhole the more detailed is the image but the penalty is that the image also gets fainter.

Multiple images of the eclipsed sun are commonly seen beneath trees. Sunlight filters through tiny gaps between leaves to form them. The images are there when the sun is not eclipsed but the dappling of the ground by little circular sun images passed unnoticed.

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