We’ve all seen images of various types of eclipses before, with rays of sunlight peeking out from behind the moon, or a chunk of the sun in shadow, but this is an entirely new way to view one. As we know, a solar eclipse happens when the moon passses between the earth and the sun, causing a shadow to be cast on the earth. While we usually think about how this looks to us earthlings when we think about an eclipse, NASA satellite DSCOVR has captured the effect from space, and it’s pretty startling.
The shadow of the moon moves across the face of the earth like a giant storm cloud, and the images give you a new sense of perspective on the eclipse. NASA has very kindly stitched the images together into a mesmerising GIF, which you can see below.
NASA’s four-megapixel (only four?) Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) which is housed on DSCOVR snapped an image every 20 minutes throughout the eclipse, ending up with a total of 13 images. “We’re not aware of anybody ever capturing the full eclipse in one set of images or video”, Adam Szabo, one of the scientists working on the DSCOVR. Designed to capture solar winds, DSCOVR is positioned much further away than traditional satellites, and so is able to gain a unique perspective on our planet.