Solar Eclipse Seen from Orbit

NASA spacecraft images Moon partially transiting the Sun

By Tudor Vieru on February 22nd, 2012 16:06 GMT

Have you ever seen how an eclipse looks like from space? Thought so. Yesterday, on February 21, the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was able to capture such a rare view, as the New Moon was partially obscuring a section of the solar disk.

The eclipse was not visible from Earth. It was a result of the relative positions of the Sun, the Moon and the spacecraft. The image above was captured at 1427 UTC (0947 am ET), and was posted on the SDO mission update blog.

Interestingly, the event also caused a drop in the amount of extreme ultraviolet emissions (EVE) released by the obscured sector of the Sun. In turn, this enabled scientists to calibrate SDO's instruments so that they become more precise in their EVE measurements.
Partial solar eclipse, as seen by the NASA SDO spacecraft on February 21, 2012
   Partial solar eclipse, as seen by the NASA SDO spacecraft on February 21, 2012
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