Space

Watch this breathtaking video of Double Eclipse captured by NASA solar observatory

nasa sdo image

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has captured stunning double eclipse in which both Moon and the Earth are crossing in front of the Sun.

NASA has released the breathtaking image and video of the mesmerising event. The event occurred on Sept1. when Earth completely eclipsed the sun from SDO’s perspective just as the moon began its journey across the face of the sun. The end of the Earth eclipse happened just in time for SDO to catch the final stages of the lunar transit.

In the SDO data, you can tell Earth and the moon’s shadows apart by their edges: Earth’s is fuzzy, while the moon’s is sharp and distinct. This is because Earth’s atmosphere absorbs some of the sun’s light, creating an ill-defined edge. On the other hand, the moon has no atmosphere, producing a crisp horizon.

This particular geometry of Earth, the moon and the sun had effects on viewing down on the ground as well: It resulted in a simultaneous eclipse visible from southern Africa. The eclipse was what’s known as a ring of fire, or annular, eclipse, which is similar to a total solar eclipse, except it happens when the moon is at a point in its orbit farther from Earth than average. The increased distance causes the moon’s apparent size to be smaller, so it doesn’t block the entire face of the sun. This leaves a bright, narrow ring of the solar surface visible, looking much like a ring of fire.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has been observing the Sun since 2010. The observatory was launched on February 11, 2010, and is part of the Living With a Star (LWS) program. The goal of the SDO is to understand the influence of the Sun on the Earth and near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously.

Humans cannot look at the sun directly and so this video was shot in wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light, which are typically invisible to our naked eyes. The video was then colorized by the scientists so that it can be easily looked at and released.

SDO has been investigating how the Sun’s magnetic field is generated and structured, how this stored magnetic energy is converted and released into the heliosphere and geospace in the form of solar wind, energetic particles, and variations in the solar irradiance.

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Megha Singh

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