Solar Eclipse Shadow

Wednesday’s total solar eclipse over Asia was a spectacular event. The area of “totality”, where the sun was completely covered by the moon, stretched from western Inda, across southern China and out into the Pacific Ocean.

The NOAA image below is from a totally different perspective than the pictures we’ve seen of the event.

JC_OSEIiod

The satellite image of coastal China shows the shadow cast on earth by the moon passing between the sun and earth.

This particular eclipse was unique in one respect. In some areas that experienced the full masking of the sun by the moon, the shadow of “totality” lasted a little longer than six and a half minutes. As eclipses go, this is unusually long.

The U.S. was left out of this event but there will be two lunar eclipses that will be visible from the east coast this year. On August 5 a penumbral eclipse will take place at moonrise and may be difficult to see. The moon will only be lightly shadowed in this case. On Decemper 31 a partial eclipse will take place over the northeast U.S.

John Collins

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