This week’s total solar eclipse gave us breathtaking views from the ground in Indonesia. To Alaska Airlines Flight 870.
But one satellite grabbed truly EPIC images of the solar eclipse. The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) continuously monitors the sun and Earth thanks to its unique orbiting position of Lagrange Point 1. Because DSCOVR is positioned between the Earth and the sun, it’s always looking at the daylight side of Earth. That also means it was in perfect position to see the Moon’s shadow drift across the Earth’s surface.
You can see the Moon’s shadow move through Indonesia and the islands of Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia before coming to an end.
Here’s an animation of 13 images captured by DSCOVR’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera, or EPIC.
Did you know: DSCOVR’s primary mission isn’t to observe Earth. Nope, its main mission is to keep tabs on the solar wind streaming from the sun for space weather forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Its secondary mission is to provide a series of images of Earth every day. Using these images, scientists will measure ozone, cloud heights, vegetation and UV radiation.
DSCOVR wasn’t the only satellite getting in on the solar eclipse watching action. Here’s a view from the Himawari satellite.
— Bobak Ferdowsi (@tweetsoutloud) March 9, 2016
And NASA’s Aqua satellite.
During a total solar eclipse, the MODIS instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite recorded this image of the shadow of the moon over the South Pacific Ocean on March 8, 2016, at 10:05 pm EST. This total solar eclipse was the last one before an August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse that will be visible in much of the United States. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team #nasagoddard #eclipse2016 #sun #moon #eclipse #solareclipse
A photo posted by NASA Goddard (@nasagoddard) on
And the Proba-2 minisat saw a partial solar eclipse.
— ESA (@esa) March 9, 2016
Image credits: NASA/ESA