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Jason DavisSeptember 15, 2015

In Pictures: A Partial Solar Eclipse from Space

A few members of Earth’s sun-observing spacecraft fleet experienced a minor service interruption Sunday morning.

During a partial solar eclipse that peaked around 7:00 UTC, the moon crossed between Earth and the sun, throwing a shadow on a region extending from southern Africa to Antarctica. Two sun-observing spacecraft in Earth orbit captured the event: NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and the European Space Agency’s Proba-2.

At the time of the partial eclipse, the moon was near apogee, its farthest distance from Earth. "The Moon will appear to be a little smaller than average so a total solar eclipse is not possible this month," wrote Dean Pesnell on NASA’s SDO blog before the event.

Here's what the eclipse looked like to SDO:

SDO partial solar eclipse

NASA / SDO / AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams

SDO partial solar eclipse
This partial solar eclipse was seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on Sept. 13, 2015 at 7:12 UTC.

NASA Goddard

And here was the view from ESA's Proba-2:

Proba-2 partial solar eclipse

ESA / Royal Observatory of Belgium

Proba-2 partial solar eclipse
This view of a partial solar eclipse was captured on Sept. 13 by the European Space Agency's Proba-2 spacecraft. Proba-2 is an Earth-orbiting, sun-observing satellite.

The European Space Agency's Proba-2 sun-observing satellite captured three partial solar eclipses on Sept. 13, 2015.

ESA / Royal Observatory of Belgium

Read more: pretty pictures, the Sun, solar observing spacecraft

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Jason Davis

Journalist and Digital Editor for The Planetary Society
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