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: Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

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

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

8 hours ago

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

10 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

Let's put a sailboat on Titan

13 hours ago

The large moons orbiting the gas giants in our solar system have been getting increasing attention in recent years. Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is the only natural satellite known to house a thick atmosphere. ...

Image: Rosetta's Philae lander snaps a selfie

14 hours ago

Philae is awake… and taking pictures! This image, acquired last night with the lander's CIVA (Comet nucleus Infrared and Visible Analyzer) instrument, shows the left and right solar panels of ESA's well-traveled ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

Let's put a sailboat on Titan

The large moons orbiting the gas giants in our solar system have been getting increasing attention in recent years. Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is the only natural satellite known to house a thick atmosphere. ...

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...