September 6, 2012, marks the first day of the SDO Fall Eclipse Season. From now until September 29, 2012 planet Earth moves through the field of view of NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory’s telescopes.
Eclipses happen near the solstices when the Sun, Earth, and the SDO orbit come into alignment. They are a normal part of life with a geosynchronous observatory. Because SDO is in an inclined orbit the eclipse season is not centered on the solstice.
The September 6, 2012 eclipse was 8 minutes and 15 seconds only. Over the next few days they will grow to over 1 hour long.
Credit: NASA SDO