Earth  Sun  Planets and Moons  ID: 4123

SDO Eclipses & Transits: March 2013

The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) orbits the Earth in a geosynchronous orbit (see The 2012 Earth-Orbiting Heliophysics Fleet and RBSP & SDO: Newest Heliophysics Missions) which keeps the spacecraft in contact with the ground station.

This motion of the spacecraft around Earth, combined with the motion of the Moon around Earth, and the motion of Earth around the Sun creates opportunities for eclipses and transits involving these other bodies (see Lunar Transit from Solar Dynamics Observatory (2010). On rare occasions, SDO can see an eclipse and transit on the same day, as illustrated in these images collected from March 11, 2013.

These eclipses and transits are not just visually interesting, but important for mission planners as SDO receives much of the electrical power needed to function through solar panels. During these times, SDO needs to operate safely with power from onboard batteries until the time that full solar power can be restored.

Visualization Credits

Tom Bridgman (GST): Animator
Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Producer
SDO Science Team and the Virtual Solar Observatory: Scientist
Laurence Schuler (ADNET): Project Support
Ian Jones (ADNET): Project Support
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

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Data Used:
SDO/AIA/304 Filter also referred to as: AIA 304
JOINT SCIENCE OPERATIONS CENTER - 3013-March-11 @ 06:29UT and 11:59UT
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.

This item is part of this series:
Solar Dynamics Observatory: Year 4

SVS >> Moon
SVS >> Transit
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions >> Solar Activity >> Solar Ultraviolet
SVS >> Solar Dynamics Observatory
SVS >> Eclipse
SVS >> Heliophysics
SVS >> Corona
NASA Science >> Earth
NASA Science >> Sun
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons
SVS >> Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging
SVS >> EUV Imaging

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