January 31, 2014

Watch: Spectacular solar show captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) on Thursday captured a spectacular solar show as the moon slid across the Sun's fiery disc.

Such events are called lunar transits, rather than eclipses, since they can be only viewed from space.

The celestial light show was captured on Jan 30, 2014, as the moon moved between NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, and the sun, giving the observatory a view of a partial solar eclipse from space that lasted two-and-a-half hours.

Lunar transits occur two or three times a year usually lasting for a half hour or so, but Thursday's one lasted two-and-a-half hours, which is the longest ever recorded.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which was launched on February 11, 2010, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, will observe the Sun for over five years. The observatory is part of the NASA's Living With a Star (LWS) program. The goal of the SDO is to understand the Sun's influence on the Earth and near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously.
watch the lunar transit video taken by NASA's SDO

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