Meaning of Baily's beads

Bai'ly's beads'

Pronunciation: (bā'lēz), [key]
  1. 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. Cf. diamond ring effect.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.