The joint JAXA/NASA Hinode mission captured this images of an annular eclipse of the Sun on May 20, 2012. During an annular eclipse the moon does not block the entirety of the sun, but leaves a bright ring of light visible at the edges. For the May eclipse, the moon was at the furthest distance from Earth that it ever achieves – meaning that it blocked the smallest possible portion of the sun, and leaves the largest possible bright ring around the outside. Scientists often use an eclipse to help calibrate the instruments on the telescope by focusing in on the edge of the moon as it crosses the sun and measuring how sharp it appears in the images.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Find us on Instagram