Did you miss Wednesday's solar eclipse? Now you can see it in stunning definition thanks to the folks at NASA.
You may not have realized it, but there was a massive solar eclipse visible on certain parts of the planet this Wednesday. And according to a report from Discovery News, the folks at NASA have captured the phenomenon and made it available for your viewing pleasure online.
Many have said that the eclipse seemed to have left a giant bruise on the Earth, but the giant dark patch that swept across the planet was no more than the moon’s shadow in front of the sun. The images were taken by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), mounted on the NOAA Deep Space Climate Observatory (DISCOVR) spacecraft.
The event was the only total solar eclipse slated to occur in 2016, and was only visible to observers in the South Pacific regions. The satellite mounted on DISCOVR, however, was able to capture a clear and revealing view of the eclipse.
DISCOVR first launched in 2015, and has since orbited the sun-Earth Lagrangian Point L1, which is a region of gravitational stability between the sun and the Earth. It sits roughly 1.5 million kilometers, or 1 million miles, from the Earth, and is an ideal location for studying weather patterns in space, like solar wind.
The spacecraft remains angled towards whichever hemisphere is receiving the sun’s light, which allowed it to track the large bruise-like shadow during the eclipse event. The primary job of EPIC is to stay focused in on the Earth, capturing meteorological events and phenomena stemming from the sun. It transmits images back to Earth almost instantly.
The DISCOVR mission has previously recorded images of the moon’s far side, which was lit by the sun. While there aren’t any more total solar eclipses slated for this year, those interested in the mission and its findings can stay tuned by following the feed on NASA’s website.
A NASA press release describing the images can be found here.