lundi 27 février 2017

NASA Satellite Spots Moon’s Shadow over Patagonia

NASA - EOS Terra Mission patch.

Feb. 27, 2017

On Feb. 26, 2017, an annular eclipse of the sun was visible along a narrow path that stretched from the southern tip of South America, across the Atlantic Ocean and into southern Africa. Those lucky enough to find themselves in the eclipse’s path saw a fiery ring in the sky. Meanwhile, NASA’s Terra satellite saw the eclipse from space.

Image above: NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of the edges of the moon’s shadow over Patagonia at around 13:20 Universal Time (10:20 a.m. local time) on Feb. 26, 2017. Under the moon’s shadow, our planet’s surface and clouds appear yellowish-brown. Image Credits: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team.

During an annular eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and Earth, blocking sunlight and casting a shadow on Earth. But the moon is too far from Earth to completely obscure the sun, so the sun peeks out around the moon. Looking down on Earth, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, aboard NASA’s Terra satellite spotted the moon’s shadow over Patagonia.

Image above: Observe the progression of the annular eclipse in this composite image taken from the shore of a small river near Chubut, Argentina. During an annular eclipse, the moon is too far from Earth to completely obscure the sun, so the sun peeks out around the moon in a visible ring. This ring is apparent at the very middle of the eclipse sequence. Image Credits: photo copyright Petr Horálek, used with permission.

Between two to four solar eclipses occur each year. Later this year, on Aug. 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse – in which the moon completely obscures the sun – will cross the United States, from Oregon to South Carolina. Visit to learn more:


Download additional multimedia on this story from NASA Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio:

Total Solar Eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017:

NASA’s SDO Witnesses a Double Eclipse:

Eclipses and Transits:

Terra Satellite:

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, by Lina Tran/Rob Garner.


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