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NASA's sun-loving spacecraft catches a double eclipse on cam

Engadget logo Engadget 5/09/2016 Mariella Moon
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NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory sees a lot of interesting sights in its geosynchronous orbit, including intense solar flares and other celestial bodies crossing the sun's surface. On September 1st, for instance, it filmed both the Earth and moon blocking its view of the sun at the same time. In the video below the fold, you can see the Earth moving in front of SDO's camera and then past it just in time to catch a glimpse of the moon's transit.

You'll notice that the Earth's edges look hazy, while the moon's look clear and crisp. That distortion is caused by our planet's atmosphere -- something the moon doesn't have -- that absorbs light from the sun. By the way, it's not just SDO that saw this double eclipse. It was also visible here on Earth, particularly in parts of central and southern Africa, where people saw it as a "ring of fire."


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