As the annular eclipse on May 20 sent skywatchers around the globe gazing upwards to see the Sun get darkened by the Moons silhouette, NASAs Terra satellite caught the other side of the event: the Moons shadow striking the Earth!
Cast across 240,000 miles of space, the lunar shadow darkened a circular swatch 300 km (185 miles) wide over the northern Pacific Ocean in this image, acquired by the Earth-observing Terra satellites Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) at 20:30 UT on Sunday, May 20.
From the NASA Earth Observatory site:
Where the Moon passed in front of the Sun, Earths surface appeared black (left half of image). Around the margins of the shadow, our planets surface appeared yellowish brown. The shadow cast by an eclipse consists of two parts, the completely shadowed umbra and the partially shadowed penumbra.
The eclipse was first visible over eastern Asia and moved across the globe, later becoming visible on the west coast of the US. Known as an annular eclipse, even in totality there was a bright ring of Sun visible around the Moon a result of the Moons elliptical orbit. The effect was dramatic, and was captured in some amazing photos from viewers around the world (as well as by a few above the world!)
Although there were a few images being circulated online of the eclipse that were not actual photos, be assured that these are the real deal.
And the next eclipse event? That will occur on November 13 of this year, when a total eclipse will be visible from Australia, the South Pacific and South America. Watch an animation of the Nov. 13 eclipse visibility here.
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