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Annular Eclipse more than the Pacific Ocean
Image by NASA Earth Observatory
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On May 20, 2012, sky watchers from eastern Eurasia to western North America saw a fiery ring around the Moon as it passed amongst the Sun and the Earth. Recognized as an annular eclipse, the occasion blocked sunlight across a swath of Earth up to 300 kilometers (185 miles) wide, and the effects had been most dramatic across the northern Pacific Ocean.
As individuals on the ground looked up at the sky and saw a ring, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) looked down and saw the Moon’s shadow racing eastward more than Earth’s surface. The MODIS instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this all-natural-colour image of the shadow on the Pacific Ocean at roughly 11:30 a.m. neighborhood time on Could 21 (23:30 Universal Time on May possibly 20).
Where the Moon passed in front of the Sun, Earth’s surface appeared black (left half of image). Around the margins of the shadow, our planet’s surface appeared yellowish brown. The shadow cast by an eclipse consists of two components, the totally shadowed umbra and the partially shadowed penumbra.
The annular eclipse started in southern China at 22:06 UTC on Could 20. It then passed more than the southern coast of Japan, and swept more than the Pacific Ocean south of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. The eclipse completed more than Oregon and California around 01:30 UTC on May 21, obtaining crossed the international date line. The eclipse reached its maximum duration of 5 minutes 46 seconds more than the Pacific Ocean.
In the course of this eclipse, the Moon’s apparent diameter was 94 % of the Sun’s, showing viewers on the ground a vibrant ring of light. Regardless of whether they could see the complete eclipse or just a partial eclipse, millions of individuals turned out to see the show and several posted their images online.
NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Speedy Response. Caption by Michon Scott.
The Earth Observatory’s mission is to share with the public the photos, stories, and discoveries about climate and the atmosphere that emerge from NASA analysis, including its satellite missions, in-the-field research, and climate models.
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