SDO Observed its First Lunar Transit

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    NASA image captured October 7, 2010

    View a video of this event here:

    This was a first for SDO and it was visually engaging too. On October 7, 2010, SDO observed its first lunar transit when the new Moon passed directly between the spacecraft (in its geosynchronous orbit) and the Sun. With SDO watching the Sun in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light, the dark Moon created a partial eclipse of the Sun.

    These images, while unusual and cool to see, have practical value to the SDO science team. Karel Schrijver of Lockheed-Martin's Solar and Astrophysics Lab explains: "The very sharp edge of the lunar limb allows us to measure the in-orbit characteristics of the telescope e.g., light diffraction on optics and filter support grids. Once these are characterized, we can use that information to correct our data for instrumental effects and sharpen up the images to even more detail."

    To learn more about SDO go to:

    Credit: NASA/SDO

    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.

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    toastforbrekkie, Olly Muxworthy, and 82 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. MONKEY50 53 months ago | reply

      Love it!!!!!!!!

    2. billadler 53 months ago | reply

      Utterly fantastic!

    3. contiflex [deleted] 53 months ago | reply

      Truly great images, thank you!

    4. o_r_i_t [deleted] 53 months ago | reply

      Incredible and beautiful shot.

    5. Rumkugel2010 53 months ago | reply


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