Monday, 02 Mar, 2009 Science

Japanese Spacecraft Observes Solar Eclipse on Moon


Imagine a solar eclipse that was nowhere to be seen on Earth. Some amazing high-resolution images were shot by a Japanese spacecraft.

On February 9, 2009, Japan's Kaguya lunar orbiter took pictures of a solar eclipse when the Sun, Moon and Earth lined up in an almost ideal row.

On the image: the shining light seen on the lower right side is the Sun; our planet is the black area encircled by the thin light ring and the red dotted line illustrates the surface of the moon.

From the spacecraft's point of view, our planet moved in front of the Sun, creating an ethereal "diamond-ring" eclipse.

It was the third time that such an unusual eclipse was observed by a human, but it was the first time that such a phenomenon was noticed and shot from the moon.

On February 9, 2009, the Kaguya probe was passing from the dark side of the moon to the light side. When the Sun rose over the surface of the moon, the spacecraft took some images of a thin ring that encircled the darkness.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) together with the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) managed to take the pictures with the help of onboard HD camera mounted on the lunar explorer.

You can watch the video of the eclipse on the official website of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

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