SCIENCE

The Only Thing Better Than A Double Rainbow Is This Double Eclipse

What does it mean?

A NASA observatory witnessed an incredible double eclipse this week when the Earth and the moon crossed in front of its view of the sun. 

Video and images recorded Thursday by the Solar Dynamics Observatory show the Earth completely eclipse the sun just as the moon begins to cross into view. As the Earth eclipse ends, the SDO footage captures the final stages of the lunar eclipse as well.

NASA explains how to tell the difference between the Earth and the moon in the images:

In the SDO data, you can tell Earth and the moon’s shadows apart by their edges: Earth’s is fuzzy, while the moon’s is sharp and distinct. This is because Earth’s atmosphere absorbs some of the sun’s light, creating an ill-defined edge. On the other hand, the moon has no atmosphere, producing a crisp horizon.

Now check out this amazing photo:

A fuzzy Earth and crisp moon block the view of the sun.
A fuzzy Earth and crisp moon block the view of the sun.

A blog for the SDO mission also pointed out the view of the phenomenon from the ground in southern Africa, which created an annular eclipse, also known as a “ring of fire.”

Solar physicist Ryan Milligan shared the picture below from his travels in Tanzania, according to the blog.

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