The Total Solar Eclipse of 20 March 2015
This narrated video shows visualizations of the March 20, 2015 solar eclipse from several vantage points in space, as well as an actual photo of a previous eclipse in 2012 taken by LRO from lunar orbit. Transcript.
On March 20, 2015, the shadow of the Moon crosses the surface of the Earth, creating a total solar eclipse. The eclipse occurs on the date of the March equinox, the start of spring in the northern hemisphere.
From well beyond the Moon's far side, the shadow appears circular. The central black dot is the umbra, where the Sun is completely covered by the Moon. The fainter, much larger shadow is the penumbra, where the Sun is only partially obscured.
Viewed from overhead, the umbra is quite elongated. It hits the Earth at a glancing angle, beginning at a point south of Greenland and departing very near the north pole. The Faroe Islands and the Svalbard archipeligo are in the path of the umbra, but the umbra just misses Iceland, and it crosses no other populated land.
The penumbra covers all of Europe and extends to north Africa and across most of Russia. Everyone in those places will see a partial eclipse.
Both astronauts and robotic probes have witnessed solar eclipses from space. For the annular eclipse in May of 2012, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter turned its narrow-angle camera away from the Moon and toward Earth, capturing four still images of the Moon's shadow as it traveled from Japan to the Aleutian Islands and the west coast of the United States.
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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
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Shadow of the Moon
Friday, March 13, 2015 at 4:00AM
Produced by - Marit Jentoft-Nilsen
Datasets used in this visualization
Terra and Aqua BMNG (Blue Marble: Next Generation)ID: 508Collected with MODIS
Credit: The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).
This dataset can be found at: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/BlueMarble/See all pages that use this dataset
DE421 (JPL DE421)ID: 752Ephemeris NASA/JPL
LRO DEM (Digital Elevation Map)ID: 653Collected with LOLA
LRO WAC 643nm High Sun Global MosaicID: 803Mosaic Collected with LROC
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.