This is the first time an entire total solar eclipse has been captured from this perspective. Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory animation by Joshua Stevens.

Total solar eclipse captured from space

  • BY AG with NASA |
  • March 11, 2016

While Indonesia enjoyed 2016's only total solar eclipse on Tuesday morning, NASA offered a novel perspective from space – the shadow of the Moon passing across Earth.

EARLY WEDNESDAY morning, while residents of islands and nations in the western Pacific looked up to see a total eclipse of the Sun – the only one in 2016 – NASA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) looked down from space and captured the shadow of the Moon marching across Earth’s sunlit face.

Dubbed an 'EPIC' eclipse, the animation was assembled from 13 images captured on Wednesday, 9 March by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC).

“What is unique for us is that being near the Sun-Earth line, we follow the complete passage of the lunar shadow from one edge of the Earth to the other,” explained Adam Szabo, NASA’s project scientist for DSCOVR. This is the first time the full eclipse has been captured in this way, he added.

In this animation, the shadow of the new Moon starts crossing the Indian Ocean and passes Indonesia and Australia before heading into the open waters and islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, and the Pacific Ocean.

Northern Australia enjoyed a partial solar eclipse that day. The next total solar eclipse visible from anywhere in Australia won't be until 2028.

The next total solar eclipse anywhere in the world will take place on 21 August 2017, and will be visible from the United States – the first total solar eclipse visible from the US mainland since 1979.

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