Friday, 8 November 2013

Eclipse Dash Across the Earth’s Face From Space

There it goes: the shadow of the moon zipping across the continent of Africa. The animation above shows this weekend’s hybrid solar eclipse event from an amazing vantage point, the Meteosat-10 satellite, which tracks weather patterns.

The sequence was put together by climate scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and shared on their CIMSS Satellite Blog. The full-resolution version in all its glory is worth a peek as well. The video below from EUMETSAT, a European weather-monitoring organization, gives another view of the eclipse racing across the Earth from Meteosat-10.

Solar eclipses occur when the moon passes between the Earth and sun, casting a shadow over our planet’s surface. A total solar eclipse happens when the moon is at the right distance to completely block the sun’s light while an annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon is slightly farther than normal from the Earth, making it appear smaller in the sky and unable to entirely obscure the sun. A hybrid eclipse is a rare event that transitions from a total solar eclipse to an annular one, when only a glowing ring of the sun can be seen.
Images: 1) CIMSS, University of Wisconsin – Madison 2) EUMETSAT

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