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Partial Solar Eclipse Observed By SDO

The Moon came in between the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) satellite and the Sun (seen here in extreme ultraviolet light) and produced a partial solar eclipse from space. For 1 hour and 41 minutes team SDO observed the lunar transit. This event only happens a few times a year, but it does give the SDO team an opportunity to better understand the AIA instrument on SDO and give it a fine-tuning. The sharp edge of the lunar limb helps researchers measure the in-orbit characteristics of the telescope, e.g., how light diffracts around the telescope's optics and filter support grids. Once these are calibrated, it is possible to correct SDO data for instrumental effects and sharpen the images even more than before.




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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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Taken on February 28, 2012