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: Is space tourism safe or do civilians risk health effects?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Science with the solar space observatory Hinode

Mar 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), ...

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.

Hinode looks into a hole on the Sun

Feb 09, 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

Nov 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

Is space tourism safe or do civilians risk health effects?

35 minutes ago

Several companies are developing spacecraft designed to take ordinary citizens, not astronauts, on short trips into space. "Space tourism" and short periods of weightlessness appear to be safe for most individuals ...

An unmanned rocket exploded. So what?

3 hours ago

Sputnik was launched more than 50 years ago. Since then we have seen missions launched to Mercury, Mars and to all the planets within the solar system. We have sent a dozen men to the moon and many more to ...

NASA image: Sunrise from the International Space Station

4 hours ago

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman posted this image of a sunrise, captured from the International Space Station, to social media on Oct. 29, 2014. Wiseman wrote, "Not every day is easy. Yesterday was a tough one. ...

Copernicus operations secured until 2021

4 hours ago

In a landmark agreement for Europe's Copernicus programme, the European Commission and ESA have signed an Agreement of over €3 billion to manage and implement the Copernicus 'space component' between 2014 ...

User comments : 0

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.