Amazing Views of Today’s Total Solar Eclipse From Earth… and Space

There’s an old Robert Heinlein saying that goes “climate is what you expect, weather is what you get,” And the weather certainly kept folks guessing right up until the start of today’s eclipse. And though much of the UK and tracks along the Faroe Islands were clouded out, folks who made the trek up to Svalbard were treated to a fine view of totality, while observers across Europe caught stages of the eclipse through its partial phases. Many more managed to capture glimpses of the eclipse thanks to our good friends over at Slooh and the Virtual Telescope project.

Here’s a quick sampling of images that have come our way thus far… we’ll be dropping in more as they become available from far flung corners of the globe and beyond:

Totality! Captured from the (thankfully sunny) Svalbard Islands. Credit and Copyright: Tony Hoffman.
Practicing solar eclipse observing safety… Credit and copyright: @johnmason1971

Though the live feed from the International Space Station was unavailable as the astros flirted with the Moon’s umbra, the crew did manage to get some quick shots of the eclipse from low Earth orbit:

They caught it! The eclipse captured from the International Space Station courtesy of @astrosamantha.
The umbra touches down at the start of the total solar eclipse as seen from the ISS. Credit: @Astrosamantha

And while the fake “eclipse seen from SPACE!!!” image made its predictable rounds, ESA’s solar observing Proba-2 spaccraft caught the eclipse from space for real:

No word yet if anyone caught the ‘money shot’ of the International Space Station transiting the Sun during the eclipse as seen from southern Spain.

UPDATE: Scratch that… Theirry Legault did indeed capture the ISS transiting the partially eclipsed Sun:


Totality from a balloon (!) over Svalbard. The team also has an exciting indiegogo project and hopes to make a film of the eclipse. Courtesy and Credit: @flyabloon/zero2infinity.

And while many observers and events were clouded out, many still noted the drop in ambient light levels.

Credit and Copyright: TheMagster3.

The Sun was relatively blank during the eclipse, with one lone sunspot group currently turned Earthward saving us from spotlessness.

Credit and copyright: @DavidBflower

As of this writing, more eclipse pics are still pouring in. Watch this space, as many eclipse chasers —especially those who traveled to distant Svalbard to witness totality in person — are still making their way in from the field and are no doubt hunting for stable internet connections as we speak.

Awaiting clear skies on the roof of the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Credit and copyright: @Whereisyvette

And as always, the big question after every eclipse is: when’s the next one? Well, the next total solar occurs over Southeast Asia on March 9th, 2016, and the very next solar eclipse is a partial over South Africa on Sept 13 2015. And North America gets to see another total lunar eclipse in the ongoing tetrad in just two weeks on April 4th, 2015… and we’re well inside two years away now from the total solar eclipse spanning the continental united States on August 21st 2017!

An Iphone capture of the eclipse. Credit and copyright: @zubenelganubi

Let the first of two eclipse seasons for 2015 begin!

Read Dave Dickinson’s eclipse-fueled scifi tales Shadowfall and Exeligmos.

Update: although it was cloudy, Marco Langbroek did indeed catch the drop in light levels over the Netherlands:

And check out this amazing Vine of the dark umbra of the Moon crossing the North Atlantic courtesy of Meteosat-9:


And sometimes, the simplest shots are the easiest to get out over social media immediately, be it at a rocket launch or during a solar eclipse:

A back of the camera shot of the eclipse as seen from northern Scotland. Credit: Edwin Quail.

There also been no word as of yet how Germany’s solar power grid fared during the eclipse, though it will be interesting to see what possible data was generated during the partial phases for future planning.

Partial phases of the solar eclipse today as seen from the United Kingdom. Credit and copyright: Sarah and Simon Fisher.

It was truly inspiring to see how many folks captured images and filled our feeds this morning with pictures of today’s eclipse.

The partial eclipse peeks out from behind the clouds over the Greek Embassy . Credit and copyright: clausdm @cldm_ish

Can’t wait til 2017? NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is set give us a total solar eclipse from the edge of the solar system this July when it flies through the shadows of Pluto and its giant moon, Charon:

An artist’s concept of New Horizons in the shadow on Pluto. Credit: NASA/JPL.

Hey, maybe if we colonize Pluto by 2017 AD, we could witness said eclipses… in person, once every 6 days:

“Pluto One,” anyone?

Parallax in action: the view from Lahore Pakistan vs Slooh’s view shortly before totality. Credit: Roshaan.
Lahore Astronomical Society, Pakistan.
A 6% partial solar eclipse as seen from Israel. Credit and copyright: Gadi Eidelheit.
The March 20, 2015 solar eclipse taken from Malta with a PST solar telescope in H-alpha. Credit and copyright: Leonard Mercer.
David Dickinson

David Dickinson is an Earth science teacher, freelance science writer, retired USAF veteran & backyard astronomer. He currently writes and ponders the universe as he travels the world with his wife.

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