The Sun and the Moon

The Moon briefly blocks SDO's view of the Sun

From an SDO image chosen as the Pick of the Week for October 15th, this shot is almost too cool to be real…but it is! As the New Moon passed between the Solar Dynamics Observatory and the Sun, the spacecraft in geosynchronous orbit got a view of the Moon’s silhouetted disc passing across its normally-unobstructed solar view. At the same time an energetic flare was erupting along the Sun’s limb. Amazing!!!

The image shown here has been rotated 180º to put the southern hemisphere of the Moon facing upwards. The full-sized version will show the rugged terrain of the Moon’s south pole along its edge. It has also been color-edited, sharpened via high pass and level-adjusted to bring out details in the Sun’s surface.

“The very sharp edge of the lunar limb allows us to measure the in-orbit characteristics of the telescope… Once these are characterized, we can use that information to correct our data for instrumental effects and sharpen up the images to even more detail.”
– Karel Schrijver, Lockheed-Martin’s Solar and Astrophysics Lab

See the original Pick of the Week post and video of the event on SDO’s main site.

Image credit: NASA (SDO) and the AIA Consortium. Edited by J. Major.

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About JPMajor

Desktop astronomer, graphic designer and space news nut.

Posted on October 16, 2010, in sun and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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