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Shadow of the Eclipse
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Shadow of the Eclipse

November 14, 2013
The last eclipse of 2013 was a rare event – a “hybrid” solar eclipse. At sunrise The Moon blocked just part of the Sun (an annular eclipse) as the event began over the western Atlantic Ocean, then transitioned to a full total solar eclipse along a narrow path of totality in the far eastern Atlantic and over parts of Africa. For just over three hours, the shadow of the moon traced a path about 13,600 km (8,500 mi) long, but only 58 km (36 mi) wide at its maximum extent.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument flying aboard the Terra satellite captured a collection of true-color images during the eclipse on November 3. Seven of the five-minute swaths collected over western Africa have been sewn together in this mosaic.

In this image, where the Moon passes in front of the Sun, and shadows the Earth, the surface of the Earth appears black (left edge of the image). At the margins of the shadow, the Earth appears yellowish brown. The blank, black wedge in the center of the image is an artifact from the geo-correcting of the image, and is not related to the eclipse.

This event was especially unusual because the eclipse shifted from partial to annular to total, and then ended. Typically hybrid eclipses begin as annual, transition to total, then end as annular. The last hybrid eclipse was reported to have occurred on November 20, 1854 and the next is expected on October 17, 2172.

Credits: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

[ Read the Article: Extremely Rare Hybrid Solar Eclipse To Occur On Sunday ]



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