If you live on the continental United States, you got cheated on last night's spectacular solar eclipse, which was visible mostly over Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean. But never fear, the Himawari Satellite is here!
Images from the Himawari Satellite, operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency, gave all of us a rare view of the effects of a solar eclipse as seen from space. The National Weather Service Boise posted a striking video on Twitter from the Japanese satellite's live stream. The time-lapsed footage shows the Moon's shadow passing across the Earth during the eclipse. NASA's Aqua satellite captured a similar and striking image of the Moon's shadow over the South Pacific Ocean.
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
Solar eclipses, which happen about once a year, are caused by the Moon passing between the Earth and the Sun. They can be seen in partiality, where only some of the Sun's surface is blocked, or in totality, where the Moon covers the entire disc with only the Sun's edges showing. What you see depends on where you are on the globe. Eclipses often happen over water, meaning that we humans miss out on the action. Totality of yesterday's solar eclipse could be seen by people on certain islands in Micronesia and Indonesia, as well as the lucky passengers on Alaska Airlines Flight 870.