Two More Eclipse Pictures, Because Holy Wow

The entire universe in blog form
Nov. 5 2013 11:35 AM

Two More Eclipse Pictures, Because Holy Wow

I knew that if I posted a couple of cool pictures and/or videos of last Sunday’s total solar eclipse, more would come in that would be even cooler.

So here you go, I have two more to delight your eyeballs.

Advertisement

The first one is from Meteosat 10, a weather satellite run by EUMETSAT, an organization that operates Europe’s meteorological satellites. Meteosat 10 orbits the Earth over Africa, and had a grand view of the eclipse as the Moon’s shadow swept across the planet from west to east. Images taken every 15 minutes from 10:45 to 14:30 UTC on Nov. 3 were combined to create this staggeringly cool animation:

Photo by EUMETSAT / Meteosat 10 / CIMSS Satellite Blog

Seriously, right? You can easily see the umbra, the darkest part of the shadow, moving toward and over Africa, and the penumbra, or lighter part of the shadow, centered on the umbra (to learn about why there are two parts to the shadow, there’s a pretty good explanation on wikipedia). The high-res version of this animation is simply stunning.

The second image is a still picture, but shows the same scene from below. Turkish astrophotographer Tunç Tezel (who is no stranger to this blog) was about 20 kilometers northeast of Pakwach, Uganda and got this fantastic shot:

solar eclipse
Nov. 2013 solar eclipse seen from Uganda. Note the sky around the horizon is still bright.

Photo byTunç Tezel, used by permission

He said that totality lasted a mere 16 seconds, the shortest he’s ever seen.

Now, you might look at that and think, “But I can barely see the eclipsed Sun at all!” and you’d be right. But that’s not the point of this picture. Look at the sky. You can see the sky itself is dark around the eclipsed Sun, but farther away it’s lit very much like normal. In this shot you are seeing how big the umbra of the Moon’s shadow is, just like you did in the satellite picture above!

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

If this were an animated picture, you’d see that dark part of the sky moving across the frame just like in that satellite shot, but this time you’re looking up at it, not down. The two pictures are complements of each other!

So cool. Someday, I swear, I will see a total solar eclipse. That, and a good aurora. It seems wrong that I’ve been writing about them so long and never seen either for myself.

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The NFL Has No Business Punishing Players for Off-Field Conduct. Leave That to the Teams.

Meet the Allies the U.S. Won’t Admit It Needs in Its Fight Against ISIS

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.

Medical Examiner

How to Stop Ebola

Survivors might be immune. Let’s recruit them to care for the infected.

History

America in Africa

The tragic, misunderstood history of Liberia—and why the United States has a special obligation to help it fight the Ebola epidemic.

New GOP Claim: Hillary Clinton’s Wealth and Celebrity Are Tricks to Disguise Her Socialism

Why the Byzantine Hiring Process at Universities Drives Academics Batty

Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 3:29 PM The Fascinating Origins of Savannah, Georgia’s Distinctive Typeface
  News & Politics
History
Sept. 23 2014 11:45 PM America in Africa The tragic, misunderstood history of Liberia—and why the United States has a special obligation to help it fight the Ebola epidemic.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Education
Sept. 23 2014 11:45 PM Why Your Cousin With a Ph.D. Is a Basket Case  Understanding the Byzantine hiring process that drives academics up the wall.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:38 PM “No One in This World” Is One of Kutiman’s Best, Most Impressive Songs
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 23 2014 11:37 PM How to Stop Ebola Could survivors safely care for the infected?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 23 2014 7:27 PM You’re Fired, Roger Goodell If the commissioner gets the ax, the NFL would still need a better justice system. What would that look like?