Proba-2 Catches Sunday's Solar Eclipse

The spacecraft observed four instances of the event

Officials at the European Space Agency (ESA) announce that the organization's Proba-2 satellite was able to photograph four instances of the partial solar eclipse that occurred this Sunday, May 20.

Data collected by the spacecraft will primarily be used to determine the health level on the SWAP instrument, which is the satellite's primary mode of observing the Universe. The vehicle was located at an altitude of 700 kilometers (435 miles) when it imaged the eclipse.

Proba-2 observed the first instance of the Sun passing through the Moon's shadow at 21:09 GMT. The last instance occurred at 03:04 GMT. Experts from the Royal Observatory of Belgium were on the station to collect the data relayed back by the probe.

While the SWAP imaged the Sun, two other instruments aboard the spacecraft were collecting science data on the hole the eclipse created in the planet's electrically active, top-most layer of the atmosphere, called the ionosphere.

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