The other end of an eclipse

May 23, 2012 by Jason Major, Universe Today
The Moon's shadow falling over the Pacific on May 20, 2012

As the annular eclipse on May 20 sent skywatchers around the globe gazing upwards to see the Sun get darkened by the Moon’s silhouette, NASA’s Terra satellite caught the other side of the event: the Moon’s 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 satellite’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) at 20:30 UT on Sunday, May 20.

From the NASA Earth Observatory site:

Where the passed in front of the Sun, Earth’s surface appeared black (left half of image). Around the margins of the shadow, our planet’s surface appeared yellowish brown. The cast by an eclipse consists of two parts, the completely shadowed umbra and the partially shadowed penumbra.

Looking at Earth during the Annular Solar Eclipse of May 20, 2012, photographed by Don Pettit from the International Space Station at 23:36 GMT. Credit: NASA

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 , even in totality there was a bright ring of visible around the Moon — a result of the Moon’s 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 visibility here.

Explore further: US-India to collaborate on Mars exploration

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Partial lunar eclipse visible in western skies

Jun 27, 2010

(AP) -- Skygazers got a treat Saturday when a portion of the moon crossed into the Earth's shadow during a partial lunar eclipse visible in the western United States and Canada, the Pacific and eastern Asia.

Cloud obscures annular eclipse

Oct 03, 2005

Clouds obscured an annular eclipse for most sky-gazers across Europe and Asia Monday as the moon passed in front of the sun.

Get Ready For Total Lunar Eclipse Wednesday Night

Feb 19, 2008

In the late night hours of Feb. 20, 2008, a total lunar eclipse will dazzle the night sky. And this lunar eclipse may be worth staying up for, because it will be the last one until December 2010.

And the Moon is eclipsed by the Earth

Jun 01, 2011

On June 15 there will be a total lunar eclipse visible from Australia, Indonesia, southern Japan, India, a large area of Asia, Africa, Europe and the eastern part of South America. This is expected to be one ...

LRO observes final lunar eclipse of the year

Dec 09, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Orbiting 31 miles above the lunar surface, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft will get a "front-row seat" to the total lunar eclipse on Dec. 10, 2011.

Recommended for you

US-India to collaborate on Mars exploration

8 hours ago

The United States and India, fresh from sending their own respective spacecraft into Mars' orbit earlier this month, on Tuesday agreed to cooperate on future exploration of the Red Planet.

Swift mission observes mega flares from a mini star

8 hours ago

On April 23, NASA's Swift satellite detected the strongest, hottest, and longest-lasting sequence of stellar flares ever seen from a nearby red dwarf star. The initial blast from this record-setting series ...

Sandblasting winds shift Mars' landscape

13 hours ago

High winds are a near-daily force on the surface of Mars, carving out a landscape of shifting dunes and posing a challenge to exploration, scientists said Tuesday.

PanSTARRS K1, the comet that keeps going

15 hours ago

Thank you K1 PanSTARRS for hanging in there! Some comets crumble and fade away. Others linger a few months and move on. But after looping across the night sky for more than a year, this one is nowhere near ...

User comments : 0