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December 19, 2013
(20 May 2012) --- Photographed by the Expedition 31 crew aboard the International Space Station and easily spotted at top center in this image is the smoky gray shadow of the moon, cast on bright clouds of the northern Pacific Ocean. The eclipse is seen obliquely, with its center more than 1600 kilometers away, so it appears as a flattened circle. Images taken three minutes earlier near the point of closest approach (slightly more than 600 kilometers) to the track of the eclipse, show the shadow as a rounder shape. The crew onboard the station looked due north towards the Aleutian Islands, where the solar eclipse was near total. Twenty-three minutes later, as they approached Antarctica in the other hemisphere, the crew members saw the sun set as they passed onto the dark side of the planet. The edge of the shadow looks diffused because of the partial eclipse zone—the wide area where more or less of the sun can be seen around the edge of the moon. The zone of partial eclipse covers a far wider area than the area covered by the total eclipse.