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SDO Shows Moon Transiting the Sun

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Posted November 25, 2014

On Nov. 22, 2014 from 5:29 to 6:04 p.m. EST., the moon partially obscured the view of the sun from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. This phenomenon, which is called a lunar transit, could only be seen from SDO’s point of view.

The moon partially obscured the view of the sun from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, on Nov. 22, 2014. This lunar transit was visible only from SDO's point of view. Image Credit: NASA/SDO

The moon partially obscured the view of the sun from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, on Nov. 22, 2014. This lunar transit was visible only from SDO’s point of view. Image Credit: NASA/SDO

In 2014, SDO captured four such transits — including its longest ever recorded, which occurred on Jan. 30, and lasted two and a half hours.

This animated gif shows how the moon passes in between NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and the sun, partially obscuring the view. Image Credit: NASA/SDO

This animated gif shows how the moon passes in between NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and the sun, partially obscuring the view. Image Credit: NASA/SDO

SDO imagery during a lunar transit always shows a crisp horizon on the moon — a reflection of the fact that the moon has no atmosphere around it to distort the light from the sun. The horizon is so clear in these images that mountains and valleys in the terrain can be seen.

Source: NASA

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