Washington, Jan 31: Here was an eclipse that we missed. But NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was up and alive and witnessed a stunning phenomenon.
It captured transit of the moon across the sun in six different colour-coded wavelengths of light.
The moon first appeared at 8.31 a.m. ET Thursday and passed in front of the sun in next couple of hours.
Transits typically last about half an hour but at two-and-a-half hours, this was one of the longest ever recorded, said a NASA release.
In the last frame, the moon is silhouetted against the solar corona.
The lunar transit of the sun was followed by a strong solar flare.
Twice a year during new phase, the moon glides in front of the sun from the observatory’s perspective.
The events are called lunar transits rather than eclipses since they’re seen from outer space.
The next one occurs July 26 this year.
SDO circles earth in a geosynchronous orbit about 22,000 miles high and photographs the sun continuously day and night from a vantage point high above Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.