SDO enters its semiannual eclipse season

Sep 07, 2012 by Karen C. Fox
Still from video showing SDO's view of the sun being partially blocked by Earth. Credit: NASA/SDO

(Phys.org)—Twice a year, for three weeks near the equinox, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) moves into its eclipse season—a time when Earth blocks its view of the sun for a period of time each day.

Any spacecraft observing the sun from an orbit around Earth has to contend with such eclipses, but SDO's orbit is designed to minimize them as much as possible.


Video: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has moved into its second season of 2012. This movie from SDO shows Earth moving across the sun from 2:25 to 3:25 a.m. EDT on Sept. 6, 2012. Credit: NASA/SDO/S. Hill

The boundaries of the shadow of Earth on the sun are not perfectly sharp since can see some light from the sun coming through Earth's atmosphere.

Explore further: NASA engineer advances new daytime star tracker

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

SDO's crazy-looking Sun due to syzygy

Apr 04, 2011

It looks like something is eating the Sun in recent pictures from the Solar Dynamics Observatory — and in recent SDO videos, the Sun suddenly disappears! What is going on? Could it be aliens, Planet X, ...

Solar Dynamics Observatory goes for a spin

Apr 09, 2012

(Phys.org) -- On April 4, 2012, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) did a 360. It rolled completely around its axis – something it does twice a year. In this movie, the dizzying view looks as if the ...

NASA Successfully Launches a New Eye on the Sun

Feb 11, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, lifted off Thursday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 41 on a first-of-a-kind mission to reveal the sun's inner workings in ...

Solar Dynamics Observatory Set to Launch Feb. 9

Feb 02, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is set to launch from Florida no earlier than 10:30 a.m. EST on Feb. 9, on an unprecedented mission to study the sun and its dynamic behavior. Onboard ...

Solar Dynamics Observatory to observe Venus transit

Jun 01, 2012

On June 5, 2012 at 6:03 PM EDT, the planet Venus will do something it has done only seven times since the invention of the telescope: cross in front of the sun. This transit is among the rarest of planetary ...

Recommended for you

NASA engineer advances new daytime star tracker

7 hours ago

Scientists who use high-altitude scientific balloons have high hopes for their instruments in the future. Although the floating behemoths that carry their instruments far into the stratosphere can stay aloft ...

Image: Sounding rockets launch into an aurora

7 hours ago

The interaction of solar winds and Earth's atmosphere produces northern lights, or auroras, that dance across the night sky and mesmerize the casual observer. However, to scientists this interaction is more ...

Gully patterns document Martian climate cycles

7 hours ago

Geologists from Brown University have found new evidence that glacier-like ice deposits advanced and retreated multiple times in the midlatitude regions of Mars in the relatively recent past.

Europe to resume satnav launches in March: Arianespace

8 hours ago

Europe in March will resume satellite launches for its troubled Galileo navigation system, hoping to boost by at least six the number of orbiters this year, Arianespace and the European Commission said Wednesday.

The two faces of Mars

10 hours ago

A moon-sized celestial object that crashed into the south pole: ETH researchers use a simulation to demonstrate why Mars consists of two notably different hemispheres.

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.