Great View! January 4 Solar Eclipse As Seen From Space

Article written: 6 Jan , 2011
Updated: 19 Jan , 2016
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Video

Here’s a unique view of the January 4 partial solar eclipse: ESA’s sun-watching microsatellite Proba-2 captured the conjunction of the spheres as the Sun, Moon and Earth all lined up in front of it. Shortly after the Moon partially blocked Proba-2’s view of the Sun, the satellite flew into Earth’s shadow. At that point – when the video seen here goes dark – the Sun, Moon, Earth and Proba-2 were all on the same line in space.

“This is a notable event,” said Bogdan Nicula of the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB), who calculated where and when this double-eclipse would happen. “It is a nice exercise to model the orbit and relative positions of all three celestial bodies.”

The images making up this video were observed by Proba-2 with its SWAP imager which operates at extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) wavelengths to monitor the swirling layer of the solar corona just above the Sun’s surface.

Proba-2 is less than a cubic meter in volume and SWAP is only the size of a large shoe box, so orbit determination is a challenge.

“We had to work very hard to get this high-resolution pointing needed for these images,” explained David Berghmans, SWAP’s principal investigator.

Nice work!

Source: ESA

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2 Responses

  1. Member
    Aqua says

    Kind of hard to see the Earth in this video? I had to watch the clip several times… but what an awesome view! Here’s hoping this inspires others to similar with future eclipses!

  2. SteveZodiac says

    Did the ISS catch the moon’s shadow on the Earh?

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