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What a Total Solar Eclipse Looks Like From Space

From The New York Times:

In March 2016, a total solar eclipse passed over Indonesia and through the Pacific Ocean. A Japanese weather satellite known as Himawari-8 captured it all. This time lapse, produced by NASA from the footage, is what a total solar eclipse looks like from space.

The satellite, which remains stationary over a single spot 22,000 miles above the Earth, captured the light of a full day. In the video, you can see the sun rising on the right and setting on the left, like a hand moving across a face. The sun gets chased by sunglint. This ghostlike aura is the spot where the sun reflects off the water at the same angle the satellite is facing.

The dark spot you see darting across the planet from left to right is the moon’s shadow. If you were to watch the so-called Great American Eclipse from a satellite in a stationary orbit, like this one over the Pacific, this is pretty much what you’d see as the eclipse traces its path across the United States.

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1 Comment

  1. http://weather.unisys.com/satellite/sat_vis.php?image=vis&inv=0&t=cur&region=ea

    I often compare the shadow angles between the solstices (23 degrees so you can see the north pole is either dark or light), or the equinoxes (where it is straight meridian).

    It should show something similar on the day of he eclipse. I’m not sure if there is a full color satellite

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