Satellite sees double at the happen solar eclipse photos from space

Two images from the European space agency esa’s Proba-2 satellite, you see the moon partially covering the sun during a solar eclipse on Aug. 11. The satellite orbits the Earth about 14.5 times per day, and flew in and out of the moon in the shadow of two times during the eclipse.

(ESA/Royal Observatory of Belgium)

A new image of a solar eclipse will have you seeing double. View from the sun-watching Proba-2 satellite, you can see the moon passing in front of the sun in the two pictures during a partial solar eclipse on Saturday (Aug. 11). The satellite flew by the moon in the shadow of two times during the eclipse.

Solar eclipses happen when the moon moves between the Earth and the sun, from the Earth perspective. A happy cosmic coincidence means that the moon is about the same size in the sky as our sun, so sometimes the moon can block the sun completely. Just like last year, when a total solar eclipse passed over the mainland of the USA.

Around this time, the eclipse was a partial one, and a different region of the world to bear witness. The eclipse path included most of Asia, the far northern Europe, Iceland, Greenland and a bit of northern and eastern Canada. The event was the third and final solar eclipse for 2018, and astrophotographers photos along the eclipse path.

While the eclipse enthusiastic observers on the ground, Proba-2 was to witness the event from the space. The European space agency esa satellite orbits the Earth a little more than 14 times per day, and the viewing angle changes with every job. So the satellite flew in and out of the moon in the shadow of two times, while the eclipse was going on.

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The images were captured at 4:40 am EDT (0840 GMT) and 6:32 pm EDT (1032 GMT) via satellite in the camera, which is called SWAP (Sun Watcher Using Active Pixel System Detector and Image Processing). The camera observes the solar corona — the thin and ultra-hot outer atmosphere of the sun in extreme ultraviolet wavelengths.

Coincidentally, the NASA sent a spacecraft to the sun that same weekend. The Parker Solar Probe launched successfully on Sunday (Aug. 12) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Parker is designed to fly closer to the sun than ever before, at a minimum distance of 4 million miles (about 6.5 million miles). That is nine times closer than the planet Mercury in its orbit around the sun.

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