Antartic Solar Eclipse

Let’s hope the penguins have their eclipse glasses ready. They will form most of the crowd in the Antarctic that will be able to witness a total solar eclipse on December 4. Fortunately, spectators in parts of southern Africa, South Australia, New Zealand and South America will see a partial solar eclipse, if the weather cooperates of course. This simulation shows the eclipse path, following the eclipse from west to east at a greater speed than the Earth’s rotation (giving the false impression that the Earth is spinning in the wrong direction).

As always, the LYRA and SWAP instruments on PROBA2 are ready to observe this spectacle from their sun-synchronous orbit around Earth. Due to the high velocity at which the satellite orbits, the instruments onboard will be able to observe as much as three occultations, and one more passage of the Moon in the SWAP field-of-view. Also for PROBA2 the eclipse will almost be a total one: at the second occultation (that is a passage of the Moon in front of the Sun) more than 95% of the solar disk will be covered! All four passages of the Moon before SWAP’s eye are shown in this simulation. All observations will become available in the event directory.

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