Solar Eclipse of November 3, 2013, Observed from Space

November 19, 2013


Image Creator: Dr. Maximilian Reuter
Summary Author: Dr. Maximilian Reuter

November 2013 Viewer's Choice The animation above shows the solar eclipse of November 3, 2013, as observed from the MSG satellite, in geostationary orbit 22,369 mi (36,000 km) above the equator. Note that the eclipsed area, where the shadow of the full Moon reached the Earth's surface, lies over the Atlantic Ocean near the Cape Verde islands. This eclipse was classified as a hybrid eclipse because it started out as an annular eclipse. However, it was a total eclipse over equatorial Africa. When the shadow was over land it was in the vicinity of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) – a cloudy and often rainy zone. Thus observing this eclipse from the surface was quite challenging.

Image Details: Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellites are operated by EUMETSAT and developed in close cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA). The primary instrument on MSG is the Scanning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI), which measures light in 11 spectral channels from the visible to the thermal infrared spectral region. Resolution of most channels is about 1.8 mi (3 km) at the nadir point, directly below the satellite. The above animation utilizes three specific spectral channels. The combination of the selected visible and near-infrared channels enables the generation of true-color images from satellite sensors optimized for meteorological observations.