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Watch the moon shadow the sun with an eclipse seen from space

Get on board with the Solar Dynamics Observatory for a close look at a spectacular partial solar eclipse.


The moon snacks on the sun.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/Joy Ng

It's always an event when we can see a solar eclipse on Earth, but NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory gets a much better view of the sun from its vantage point in space. The SDO caught sight of a lovely partial solar eclipse on Sunday when the moon blocked out a good chunk of our closest star.

NASA posted a GIF of the action on Monday, noting "the shadow's edge is sharp and distinct, since the moon has no atmosphere which would distort sunlight." The lunar transit lasted for one hour.

There's slight shimmy to the sun in the animated image. NASA assures us the sun was not "spooked by this near-Halloween sight," but that the shaking comes from small adjustments in the SDO's guidance system triggered by the shadow covering part of the sun.

The SDO sees the sun in extreme ultraviolet light. The red colorization helps to translate the image into something human eyes can understand. It also simply looks cool to see the sun represented as a blazing ball of fire.