March 2016 Total Solar Eclipse
These two views of the March 2016 total solar eclipse, visible to those living in parts of Indonesia (including Sumatra, Borneo, and Sulawesi) and from locations in the Pacific Ocean, look similar but come from completely different perspectives. The side-by-side visualizations reveal information about the orbits of the two instruments that observed the event.
On the left, a series of images taken by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) onboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) show the eclipse from its orbit at the first Lagrange point (L1)—a point about 1,000,000 miles (1,609,344 km) from Earth where the force of Earth's gravity almost exactly matches that of the Sun. As the DSCOVR spacecraft slowly orbits around L1 (always viewing the sunlit side of Earth) the area of reflected sunlight near the center of the globe remains stationary. During the eclipse, the moon’s shadow crosses the face of the Earth’s surface as Earth appears to rotate from left (west) to right (east) below.
In contrast, Himawari-8, a Japanese weather spacecraft, is in geostationary orbit at an altitude of ~35,791 km (22,239 mi). This means that Himawari-8 is positioned over a particular spot on Earth—located at 141 degrees East, 0 degrees North. During the eclipse, the moon's shadow appears mid-ocean and races off to the east (right), while the area of reflected sunlight appears to move right (east) to left (west) across the Earth’s surface. The instruments onboard Himawari-8 and DSCOVR use different spectral bands so the colors of the two images appear different.
DSCOVR/EPIC and Himawari-8 view the March 2016 eclipse.
DSCOVR/EPIC views the March 2016 eclipse
A time series of images from Japan's Himawari-8 satellite shows the March 2016 solar eclipse
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Please give credit for this item to:
"simplecolor" Himawari-8 images from NOAA/Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), DSCOVR/EPIC images NASA Goddard
Datasets used in this visualization
Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR)ID: 885Collected with Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC)
Himawari-8ID: 917Collected with Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI)
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.