Video: the shadow of the total solar eclipse seen from space


By John

While the Moon obscured the Sun, casting its shadow on the Earth, the total eclipse of April 8 was also followed from space: several American and European satellites, SpaceX's Starlinks and the International Space Station were able to collect photos and videos from privileged spectators of the event.

An eclipse constitutes, in fact, a precious laboratory for understanding what happens at an atmospheric level when darkness suddenly causes temperatures to drop and for studying the solar corona, the external part of its atmosphere, which is responsible for solar storms that can hit the our planet.

The NOAA's Goes-16 meteorological satellite, the US Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, traced the path of the lunar shadow from 36,000 kilometers away, showing a total view of the entire globe.

This satellite, in fact, provides continuous images and atmospheric measurements of the Western Hemisphere and also monitors space weather.

The Sentinel-3 mission of Copernicus, the satellite Earth observation program managed by the European Space Agency and the European Commission, also captured images of the eclipse: its satellites, Sentinel-3A and 3B, study the oceans, measure the land and sea surface temperatures and provide important data for climate and environmental monitoring.

SpaceX's Starlink satellites saw the show from above North America, during their normal work for global connectivity, but the astronauts aboard the ISS also had a privileged view of the total eclipse from their 400 kilometers altitude.

The front row position of the Space Station was not accidental: NASA had been preparing for the event for months, slowly modifying the path of the ISS so that it was in the right place at the right time.