A total solar eclipse is a rare and thrilling sight, but seeing it from a height makes it even more exotic.
Check out the view from Japan’s Himawari 8 weather satellite, stationed more than 22,000 miles above the Pacific Ocean in geostationary orbit. The satellite was perfectly placed to track the moon’s shadow as it sped from west of Indonesia to east of Hawaii on Tuesday. (Or was that today?)
NASA’s Aqua satellite got an up-close look of the moon’s shadow as it swept across the South Pacific:
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
Aqua’s sibling satellite, Terra, snapped a similar view.
Meanwhile, the European Space Agency’s Proba 2 sun-watching satellite caught sight of the partial solar eclipse from an orbital altitude of 500 miles. Proba 2’s view was in extreme ultraviolet wavelengths:
#Eclipse not visible in Europe but our Proba-2 minisat caught a partial solar eclipse from orbit https://t.co/SqwXJVimwG
— ESA (@esa) March 9, 2016
Other views came from aboard an Alaska Airlines jet that passed through the eclipse zone on its way from Anchorage to Honolulu. Feast your eyes on a few of the sights that were captured, plus NASA’s classic video of the eclipse as seen from the ground on the coral island of Woleai in Micronesia.
Now that's a view of the #Eclipse2016 from flight #870. Photo: Anchorage flight attendants Rachael C. & Sofia S. pic.twitter.com/Sa6qOUysRu
— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) March 9, 2016
Successful eclipse flight!! These photos show the approach of the Moon’s shadow and it then lifting off.
Posted by Evan Zucker on Tuesday, March 8, 2016
This is what you call an exclusive photo of a total #solareclipse over the middle of the Pacific Ocean. #KOMOeclipse pic.twitter.com/E0F4AXUNKO
— Morgan Chesky (@BreakingChesky) March 9, 2016
Wow, a total solar #eclipse2016! See the moon pass directly in front of the sun. It happened at 8:38 to 8:42 pm ET. https://t.co/qK6O4xppbn
— NASA (@NASA) March 9, 2016
For still more pictures of Tuesday’s spectacular, check out the galleries on SpaceWeather.com and NASA’s Flickr site. And while you’re thinking about celestial sights, order your solar-filter glasses and make your plans for next year’s all-American eclipse.
Update for 11:30 p.m. PT March 10: Here’s a must-see animated GIF featuring the view of the eclipse from the Deep Space Climate Observatory, a.k.a. DSCOVR.
“What is unique for us is that being near the sun-Earth line, we follow the complete passage of the lunar shadow from one edge of the Earth to the other,” Adam Szabo, NASA’s project scientist for DSCOVR, said in an image advisory on NASA’s Earth Observatory website. “A geosynchronous satellite would have to be lucky to have the middle of an eclipse at noon local time for it. I am not aware of anybody ever capturing the full eclipse in one set of images or video.”
To see more of DSCOVR’s epic imagery, visit this EPIC gallery (where EPIC stands for “Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera”).
#DSCOVR's fantastic view is added to our eclipse photo roundup: https://t.co/Tzhzpnzw4Y +https://t.co/E3BTbc9d27 pic.twitter.com/4j3zaQj1jZ
— Alan Boyle (@b0yle) March 11, 2016