Jason DavisSep 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
SDO partial solar eclipse This partial solar eclipse was seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on Sept. 13, 2015 at 7:12 UTC.Image: NASA / SDO / AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams

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

Proba-2 partial solar eclipse
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.Image: ESA / Royal Observatory of Belgium

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Proba-2 partial solar eclipses The European Space Agency's Proba-2 sun-observing satellite captured three partial solar eclipses on Sept. 13, 2015.Video: ESA / Royal Observatory of Belgium

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