From the BBC’s astronomy series Stargazing Live with Professor Brian Cox and Dara O’Briain, with Liz Bonnin narrating the process, watch the March 20th solar eclipse, when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun. It’s a short but stunning highlight video.
Edward Bloomer, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, said the event was significant, as it was relatively rare that a huge portion of the planet could see at least a partial eclipse, including most of Europe, and parts of North Africa and the Middle East.
He said he had been up since 7 a.m., looking through protective viewing glasses. “For some eclipses, you have to be in the middle of the ocean to see it, or it will only cast a shadow on the east of Russia,” he said. “This one was great, as so many people on the earth could see it.”
He added that it was rare for the earth, the sun and the moon to perfectly line up, creating a so-called syzygy effect.
Above, from the European Space Agency (ESA):
Read more about solar eclipses on Wikipedia, and for more photos and video of the event, including a quick vid of the International Space Station passing in front of the sun during the eclipse, visit Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog.
As Europe enjoyed a partial solar eclipse on the morning of Friday 20 March 2015, ESA’s Sun-watching Proba-2 minisatellite had a ringside seat from space. Orbiting Earth once approximately every 100 minutes, Proba-2 caught two eclipses over the course of the morning.
Proba-2 used its SWAP imager to capture the Moon passing in front of the Sun. SWAP views the solar disc at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths to capture the turbulent surface of the Sun and its swirling corona.