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PROBA2 views Partial Solar Eclipse - 8 & 9 March 2016

On 2016 March 8 and 9, a solar eclipse took place over the Pacific Ocean. This eclipse was total -that is, the entire solar disk was covered by the Moon- over Indonesia and the central Pacific, starting at sunrise over Sumatra and ending at sunset north of the Hawaiian Islands. Additionally, large parts of South-East Asia, Alaska and Australia witnessed a partial solar eclipse. The path of totality had a maximum width of 155 km and the maximum duration was 4 minutes and 9 seconds at the point of greatest eclipse, which was over the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

SWAP Observes Another Eclipse - and this Time it's Annular

SWAP Annular Eclipse

The total solar eclipse observed in March 2015 caught a lot of people's attention, especially as the path of totality passed over most of Northern Europe. There was a great deal of fan-fair and plans to observe the eclipse from the ground. However, due to heavy cloud cover, a lot of people had to turn to space-based observations, such as those made by the sun watching extreme-ultraviolet imager: SWAP, on board the European Space Agency's PROBA2 satellite, which images the Sun from the vantage point of a polar Earth orbit, away from pesky cloud cover. More information about the March eclipse can be found here and here.

SWAP observes the solar corona in a passband centered on a wavelength of 17.4 nm. The structures seen in SWAP images have a temperature of approximately 1 million degrees. More information about the SWAP instrument is available here.

It may come as some surprise, especially for those in Europe, that there was another eclipse observed on 2015-Sep-13. Whether you are able to observe an eclipse from the ground depends on your geographic location, in contrast to the March eclipse which was seen from Northern Europe and the Arctic regions, the September eclipse was observed in the southern hemisphere from Antarctica and southern Africa. In any given year the Earth will experience at least 2 solar eclipses due to the Earth and Moon's orbit.

PROBA2 Views a Total Solar Eclipse - 2015

Updated (25 March 2015): On 2015 March 20, PROBA2 observed a total solar eclipse — twice! The spacecraft's orbit carried it through the darkest parts of the Moon's shadow two times, first between 08:28 and 08:53 UT and again between 10:24 and 10:50 UT. Eclipse chasers, scientists, media and members of the general public have been following our data closely, so we are collecting all of our results and data products in one place for quick access.

SWAP, an Extreme-Ultraviolet solar telescope, observes the solar corona in a passband centered on 17.4 nm. The structures we see in SWAP images have a temperature of approximately 1 million degrees. LYRA, an X-ray/Ultraviolet radiometer observes the total incoming light levels from the Sun in several wavelength bands.

More information about these instruments is available here: SWAP | LYRA.

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