GOLD Instrument observes the July 2019 Total Solar Eclipse
Comparative visualizations of Earth in visible light and the ultraviolet emission of oxygen recombining from ions. The Appleton anomaly is faintly visible above and below the equator on the nightside of the Earth. This version presents the path of the solar eclipse but variations are available in the popup menu to the right.
The GOLD instrument aboard the SES 14 satellite observes the Earth in ultraviolet light. In this region of the electromagnetic spectrum, it sees emission of atmospheric ions, atoms and molecules activated by incoming solar radiation.
In these visualizations, we see how the total solar eclipse of July 2012 significantly affected this emission as the Moon's shadow moved across Earth. We also show wavelengths corresponding to two different populations of emitting atoms, the nitrogen LBH bands and the oxygen 135.6nm emission which has a strong contribution from ionized oxygen atoms.
Because the oxygen ions are charged, they respond to the electromagnetic force and exhibit some enhancement straddling the magnetic equator - the Appleton anomaly, which is created by a process called the 'fountain effect'. The nitrogen emission, from atoms with no net electric charge, does not respond to Earth's magnetic field so does not exhibit the Appleton anomaly.
Comparative visualizations of Earth in the ultraviolet emission of oxygen recombining from ions and ultraviolet emission of the nitrogen Lyman-Birge-Hopfield (LBH) bands. In the oxygen version, the Appleton anomaly is faintly visible above and below the equator on the nightside of the Earth. This version presents the path of the solar eclipse but variations are available in the popup menu to the right.
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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
MissionsThis visualization is related to the following missions:
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Datasets used in this visualization
CPC (Climate Prediction Center) Cloud CompositeID: 600Data Compilation Climate Prediction Center (CPC) 2019-06-30T06:22:00UTC - 2019-07-02T22:520:00UTC
Global cloud cover from multiple satellitesSee all pages that use this dataset
SES 14ID: 1049Observed Data Collected with GOLD 2019-06-30T06:22:00UTC - 2019-07-02T22:520:00UTC
Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) is an ultraviolet imaging spectrograph to measure temperatures and densities in the Earth's thermosphere & ionosphere.See all pages that use this dataset
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.