The information then enables researchers understand the impact of Sun's atmosphere, solar flares and high-energy particles on Earth and near-Earth space and also helps them find ways to protect the planet from the potential damaging effects. So no need to be jealous: SDO may have seen an eclipse that we didn't, but we'll have an even better view in a few months.
"The moon's crisp horizon can be seen from this view because the moon has no atmosphere to distort the sunlight", NASA explains.
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The first total solar eclipse to take place in the continental United States since 1979 is coming this summer, and sky gazers from around the world are planning trips to a roughly 70-mile-wide-swath of the country where the eclipse can be seen in totality.
But, when this phenomenon is observed by SDO on August 21, its perspective will see the moon just 'barely hide part of the sun'. This time, it managed to make several high-resolution photos of moon passing before the sun.
In space, SDO, which has been observing the Sun since 2010, will see a partial solar eclipse, which will start just as the total one leaves the U.S. and heads out over the Atlantic Ocean.
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Repeatedly, the united states space agency has released videos and pictures from the lumionous body spewing solar material and oozing plasma on its surface, making one question the other secrets the very big ball of fireside might be holding. Light rays stream through lunar valleys along the moon's horizon and form Baily's beads, bright points of light that signal the beginning and end of totality.
The August 21 event will be visible to millions of people as it crosses through 14 states, with the path of totality stretching from Lincoln Beach, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina. A partial eclipse will be visible throughout the rest of North America and even in parts of South America, Africa, Europe and Asia.
You can always see what the sun looks like at this very moment, including sunspots and coronal holes, on the NASA SDO website.
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The data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO along with NASA topographical data of Earth were used by visualisers to precisely map the upcoming eclipse in unprecedented detail. The work shows the umbral shape varies as time passes, and isn't simply an ellipse, but an irregular polygon with slightly curved edges.
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