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HomescienceWhat 'ring of fire' eclipse looked like from space? NASA shares images

What ‘ring of fire’ eclipse looked like from space? NASA shares images

Next annular solar eclipse in United States on June 21, 2039.

A satellite image capturing the ‘Ring of Fire’ eclipse has been released by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), revealing its shadow as it cast itself upon Earth.

“About 15 lakh kilometres from Earth, the shadow, or umbra, from the Moon was seen falling across the southeastern coast of Texas,” NASA said sharing the image on Tuesday.

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This Saturday, a celestial alignment occurred when the Moon aligned itself with the Sun and Earth, producing an annular solar eclipse. This spectacular phenomenon was visible to billions of onlookers in the United States, Mexico, and several countries across Central and South America as the lunar shadow enveloped the Sun’s radiant rays.

The image was captured during the eclipse by NASA’s EPIC (Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera) aboard DSCVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory). This sensor is located at Lagrange Point 1, where the Indian Space Research Organisation has sent the Aditya L1 solar probe.

The US space agency also shared a picture of the annular eclipse as seen from the International Space Station. See below:

What prompts this eclipse to be termed the ‘Ring of Fire’?

This eclipse is classified as an annular eclipse, which transpires when the Moon moves in front of the Sun but remains at a distance from Earth that prevents total obscuration. During an annular eclipse, the Moon is positioned at or close to its farthest point from Earth, also known as its apogee. This relative distance causes the Moon to appear smaller in the sky, consequently revealing the Sun’s edges in a striking red-orange ring, hence its moniker, the “Ring of Fire,” according to NASA.

Date of next annular solar eclipse

The next annular solar eclipse visible from the United States is slated for June 21, 2039. However, a total solar eclipse is on the horizon, expected to darken skies from Texas to Maine on Monday, April 8, 2024.

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