Hinode witnesses solar eclipse

May 23, 2012
Maximum eclipse. Credit: JAXA/Hinode

(Phys.org) -- Spectacular images from the Hinode spacecraft show the solar eclipse, which darkened the sky in parts of the Western United States and Southeast Asia yesterday.

Hinode is in a low-Earth (630km altitude - about 400 miles) sun-synchronous that permits nearly continuous observations of the sun. So, in effect, Hinode has the same perspective as Earth-bound since the angle subtended is very small between the Earth and Hinode relative to the moon. However, Hinode's unique orbit has the sweaping through the area occulted by the Sun once per orbit, and did so 4 separate times.

Images of the eclipse, from Hinode, enable scientists to develop an improved model of the telescope performance. This can be used to obtain significantly enhanced observations in high resolution of faint features of the solar corona. This will allow scientists to study the extended solar corona and the structure of the high temperature solar atmosphere.

An annular eclipse occurs when the moon, slightly more distant from Earth than on average, moves directly between Earth and the Sun, thus appearing slightly smaller to observers' eyes; the effect is a bright ring around the silhouette of the moon.

Explore further: Annular solar eclipse observed by Hinode (w/ Video)

Related Stories

Science with the solar space observatory Hinode

March 20, 2008

The solar space observatory Hinode was launched in September 2006, with the name "Hinode" meaning sunrise in Japanese. The Hinode satellite carries a solar optical telescope (SOT), an X-ray telescope (XRT), and an EUV imaging ...

Cloud obscures annular eclipse

October 3, 2005

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

Hinode looks into a hole on the Sun

February 9, 2011

On Feb. 1, 2011, the Hinode satellite captured this breathtaking image of a coronal hole, seen in the top center of the image. A polar coronal hole can also be seen at the bottom of the image.

X-ray Transit of Mercury

November 17, 2006

To appreciate the majesty and power of a typical G-type star, you need only glance at this photo... The tiny black speck is Mercury. The star looming in the background is our own sun.

Recommended for you

Tracking waves from sunspots gives new solar insight

October 20, 2016

While it often seems unvarying from our viewpoint on Earth, the sun is constantly changing. Material courses through not only the star itself, but throughout its expansive atmosphere. Understanding the dance of this charged ...

Astronomers predict possible birthplace of Rosetta comet

October 20, 2016

When the Rosetta spacecraft successfully touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Sept. 30, the news was shared globally via Twitter in dozens of languages. Citizens the world over were engaged by the astronomical ...

Citizen scientists seek south pole 'spiders' on Mars

October 20, 2016

(Phys.org)—Ten thousand volunteers viewing images of Martian south polar regions have helped identify targets for closer inspection, yielding new insights about seasonal slabs of frozen carbon dioxide and erosional features ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.