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NASA releases photo from space that shows what happens during a solar eclipse

NASA releases photo from space that shows what happens during a solar eclipse

It looks incredible!

We've seen them from the Earth, as the sun is blotted out in the sky and the world goes dark for a few moments.

But have you ever wondered what a solar eclipse looks like from space?

Well, to understand that, first you need to have an idea of what an eclipse actually is, which is when the moon's orbit makes it pass between the Earth and the Sun and blot out the Sun temporarily.

Eclipses aren't a stationary thing, they move across the Earth's surface along a path which is determined by the motion of the Moon and Earth in relation to each other.

And the eclipse will only actually happen in that one part of the planet for that time. It also has to happen during the day, obviously.

So what exactly does this look like from space?

Well, on Earth, we see that the Sun is blocked by the Moon, though you should never look directly at it without protective glasses.

The path the eclipse took.

From space, this looks like a huge shadow being cast across the surface of the planet.

It's both beautiful, and a little bit terrifying as well.

The image looks like a visualisation of a great plague or pestilence moving across the world as one area darkens in the Moon's shadow.

This particular eclipse was also a very special one as it was what is called an 'annular' eclipse. An annular eclipse is so-called because it results in the Moon creating a ring as it becomes perfectly centred over the Sun, with 'annular' meaning 'ring-shaped'.

It's also been called a rather more dramatic-sounding 'Ring of Fire'.

This is also the first time that an annular eclipse has been visible in the US since 2012.

The incredible image of Earth.

NASA reported that the eclipse in October 2023 began at around 9:13 p.m. in Oregon, before heading southeast.

In the end, its path took it through Oregon, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, parts of California, Idaho, Colorado, and Arizona.

The extraordinary image taken by NASA was shot by NASA's EPIC Imager which is on board the Deep Space Climate Observatory. This is a NASA, NOAA, and U.S. Air Force satellite.

According to NASA, the image was taken at a place between the Sun and the Earth, around 1.5 million kilometres from the Earth.

The next time such an eclipse will happen in the US is some way off, on 21 June 2039.

Before that, a total solar eclipse will 'darken skies' from Texas to Maine on 8 April 2024.

Featured Image Credit: NASA Getty Stock Image

Topics: News, US News, World News, NASA, Space