A partial solar eclipse was reported by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on Oct 30, recording the images of the moon's voyage before the sun. SDO said the lunar transit lasted for an hour, from 3:56 p.m. to 4:56 p.m. EDT.
Based on calculations, the transit had nearly 59 percent of the sun covered by the moon when the voyage was at its peak.
SDO spotted the lunar transit when its own view of the sun was getting obstructed by the moon's shadow, with the edge of the shadow staying sharp and distinct. This happens because the moon has no atmosphere of its own to distort sunlight.
By analyzing the images of the moon's transit across the sun, the NASA scientists said the sun appeared a bit shaky. SDO captured the images in extreme ultraviolet light, which is invisible to human eyes.
Main Mission Of SDO
The mandate of the observatory is to keep a close watch over the sun, which influences space weather.
Launched as the first satellite under the Living with a Star program, SDO was designed by NASA to fly for five years as a spacecraft.
The mission is crucial since the sun is a great mystery to scientists. Central to all SDO studies are investigations into the sun's interior/structure and source of energy, as well as its storage and release of energy into its atmosphere.
Besides tracking the sun and its functions, SDO also delivers prior warnings of changes in the sun's activities to protect astronauts and satellites.
In collecting huge amounts of data every day, SDO gathers a single CD worth of data every 36 seconds. It differs from other satellites because it has its own ground station helping to document all the data.
SDO maintains contact with its ground station constantly, placing it in a geosynchronous orbit. The observatory rotates at the same speed as the Earth to stay in touch with the ground station in New Mexico.
Next Solar Eclipse: August 2017
Meanwhile, a total eclipse of the sun is coming up on Aug. 21, 2017, which will become visible from a narrow corridor across the U.S.
During the eclipse, the moon's umbral shadow path will start in the northern Pacific to cross the U.S. from west to east, passing through states such as Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Oregon, Iowa, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Kansas, Georgia, and South Carolina.
A partial eclipse can be viewed in a larger region thanks to the moon's penumbral shadow covering most of North America. Penumbra is the outer shadow of Earth.