SeaWiFS View of Eclipse
December 10, 2002
The SeaWiFS instrument on the OrbView-2 satellite collected this image series on the day of last week's total solar eclipse of the Sun, which was visible from southern Africa and across the Indian Ocean and Australia. Each image swath, proceeding from east to west, was collected about one hundred minutes after the one before it. The timing of the central swath in the composite, the one that passes over India near the top of the composite, was such that it coincided with the passage of the Moon's shadow across the southern Indian Ocean. This accounts for the dark stain near the center of the image - the Moon's shadow. Gaps in each swath are caused by a tilt maneuver performed by the sensor during each orbit in order to reduce the effects of Sun glint from the sea surface. The dark band stretching across the center of the image is a result of this maneuver.