A satellite captured the moon casting its shadow on Earth during the annular solar eclipse early Thursday (June 10) morning.
Just as the sun began to rise onThursday morning, skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere were treated to a spectacular sight: an annular solar eclipse, also known as a “ring of fire” eclipse.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes between Earth and the sun, casting a shadow on our planet and temporarily blocking the sun from our view. However, during an annular solar eclipse, the moon is too far from Earth to fully block out the sun, so the sun’s bright edge remains visible.
However, while this can look like a “ring of fire,” to skywatchers on Earth’s surface, from space, the eclipse looked much different.
‘Ring of fire’ solar eclipse 2021: See amazing photos from stargazers
NASA’s GOES-East satellite, an Earth-observing weather probe, captured the event from orbit. The satellite observed the shadow that the moon cast on Earth, from its vantage point between the two massive bodies.
In these observations, you can see the shadow of the moon moving steadily across Earth’s surface as it passes in front of the sun, blocking its rays.
Skywatchers down on Earth saw this shadow from the other side, and those who lucked out with good weather and a clear enough horizon were treated to a spectacular show. Even people who only were able to glimpse a partial eclipse, like folks in the U.S., enjoyed the sight. To some, it appeared as a “crescent sun,” as the moon only partly moved in front of our nearby star.
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