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Watch: Rare Eclipse from Space as the Moon Blocks the Sun in Lunar Transit

Nov 02, 2016 05:13 AM EDT
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What could be more mesmerizing than an eclipse that occurs right before Halloween? Last Sunday, Oct. 30, a lunar transit occurred where the moon traveled across the Sun, blocking the giant ball of fire along the way.

The Sun emits solar flares and radiation that make it bright and are responsible for its glow. The glowing Sun can be seen from Earth using telescopes. This is the reason why any obstacles that block the view of the Sun can easily be spotted and can create a fascinating effect like the recent lunar transit that resulted in an eclipse in space when the moon passed through the Sun.  The stunning lunar transit occurred right before Halloween. But despite the Sun's pumpkin-orange glow, NASA says there's nothing scary or spooky about the lunar transit.

"From SDO's point of view, the sun appears to be shaking slightly - but not because the solar observatory was spooked by this near-Halloween sight," a NASA official said in a statement. "Instead, the shaking results from slight adjustments in SDO's guidance system, which normally relies upon viewing the entire sun to center the images between exposures," the official added.

The dubbed "space eclipse" lasted for about an hour last Oct. 30. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured the whole thing live where thousands of individuals managed to watch and enjoy. NASA also released another shorter animation render of the space event after the live coverage.

During the lunar transit, the moon covered about 59 percent of the Sun during the peak of the partial eclipse. The moon, having no atmosphere, made the solar eclipse more interesting. The edges are very distinct and sharp making an almost smooth carve on the surface of the Sun. Experts at NASA described the edges of the moon on earlier lunar transits.

"Note in the picture how crisp the horizon is on the moon, a reflection of the fact that the moon has no atmosphere around it to distort the light from the sun," a NASA official said in a press release.

SDO has managed to film most of the Sun's activities including what seemed to be a hole on the surface of the Sun and the movements of Sun's magnetic field.

 

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