Big Pic: Watch The Moon Swallow The Sun In X-Ray

The Hinode telescope captures some amazing views of last week’s annular solar eclipse.

Last week’s annular solar eclipse was only visible from cruises in the Pacific Ocean, but the international fleet of solar-observing spacecraft had a great view. The Hinode telescope, which orbits Earth and observes the sun in X-ray, optical, and extreme ultraviolet wavelengths, captured several eerie views of the event on Friday.

It wasn’t an annular eclipse from orbit, however: The moon just skims the sun from Hinode’s perspective. The telescope passed through the eclipse path four times, because Hinode loops Earth about every hour and a half. But it only captured three of the four eclipses, because in one of the orbits, both the Earth and moon were blocking the sun, according to Patrick McCauley, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

That is also why this view is truncated halfway through:

See an awesome time-lapse video of a lunar eclipse here.


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