Earth  Sun  ID: 12526

NASA Satellite Spots Moon’s Shadow over Patagonia

On Feb. 26, 2017, an annular eclipse of the sun was visible along a narrow path that stretched from the southern tip of South America, across the Atlantic Ocean and into southern Africa. Those lucky enough to find themselves in the eclipse’s path saw a fiery ring in the sky. Meanwhile, NASA’s Terra satellite saw the eclipse from space.

During an annular eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and Earth, blocking sunlight and casting a shadow on Earth. But the moon is too far from Earth to completely obscure the sun, so the sun peeks out around the moon. Looking down on Earth, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, aboard NASA’s Terra satellite spotted the moon’s shadow over the Atlantic Ocean.

Between two to four solar eclipses occur each year. Later this year, on Aug. 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse – in which the moon completely obscures the sun – will cross the United States, from Oregon to South Carolina. Visit to learn more.


Kathalina Tran (KBRwyle)

Joy Ng (USRA)
Genna Duberstein (USRA)
Jeff Schmaltz (NASA/GSFC)
Rob Gutro (NASA/GSFC)

Technical Support:
Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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SVS >> Solar Eclipse
GCMD >> Location >> Argentina
SVS >> Eclipse
SVS >> Terra
NASA Science >> Earth
NASA Science >> Sun
SVS >> Annular Eclipse
SVS >> Patagonia

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version