By: Science Desk | Kochi |
December 8, 2021 6:09:19 pm
This image of our home planet shows how Earth looked from more than 1.5 million kilometers, away during the total solar eclipse visible in Antarctica on Dec. 4, 2021. (NASA)
On December 4 was the only total solar eclipse of 2021 and the last eclipse of the year from Antarctica. The southern tip of South America, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand saw partial phases of the eclipse.
If you have ever thought about seeing a total solar eclipse from space, NASA is here to help. The agency shared pictures taken during the eclipse on its Instagram page.
The Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) spacecraft captured the dark shadow of the Moon as it passed over Antarctica. NASA also shared images taken by Astronaut Kayla Barron from inside the International Space Station.
DSCOVR orbits about 1.5 million km above Earth and takes pictures of Earth every two hours. The spacecraft “monitors changes in the solar wind and provides space weather forecasts and alerts for solar storms that could temporarily disrupt power grids and GPS.” It can give warnings to forecasters 15 to 60 minutes before solar storms reach Earth. DSCOVR is a joint mission between NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the United States Air Force (USAF).
On February 11, 2021, when the moon again passed DSCOVR and the Earth, EPIC captured the far side of the moon, which is never seen from Earth.
Happy Launch-iversary, #DSCOVR! ??️#OnThisDay in 2015, @NOAA‘s Deep Space Climate Observatory launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Five months later, @NASA‘s EPIC camera onboard DSCOVR captured this #ImageOfTheDay of the Earth and Moon.
— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) February 11, 2021
Last year, on June 21, DSCOVR EPIC captured the annular solar eclipse over Asia. Previously, it had captured the total solar eclipse over North America on August 21, 2017.
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