The one complete photo voltaic eclipse of 2021 was seen from Antarctica, the place the Moon blotted out the Sun for practically two minutes.
On December 4, 2021, a handful of individuals in Antarctica have been handled to clear views of a complete photo voltaic eclipse, the just one to happen in 2021. A partial eclipse was seen in different components of the Southern Hemisphere. The eclipse reached totality at 07:44 Common Time (UTC) and lasted just below 2 minutes, darkening the Antarctic summer time skies at a time when the Sun is above the horizon for a number of months.
Throughout a complete photo voltaic eclipse, the Sun, Moon, and Earth line up in that order, with the Moon between the Sun and Earth. The Moon casts a shadow on half of Earth’s floor. For these individuals situated in the middle of the Moon’s shadow, the Sun is both totally or partially blocked from view and the sky turns into very darkish. Viewers with clear skies and the proper gear or eyewear can typically observe the Sun’s outer ambiance, or corona. Usually, it’s obscured by the brightness of the Sun’s floor.
The above picture was acquired throughout the eclipse by the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Digital camera (EPIC) aboard the Deep Space Local weather Observatory (DSCVR). The satellite tv for pc has a relentless world view of Earth from its place at Lagrange Point 1, a gravitationally secure level between the Sun and Earth about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. On this view, acquired at 07:58 UTC, the Moon’s shadow will be seen falling on Antarctica.
The natural-color photos under have been acquired by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite tv for pc on December 15, 2019, and December 4, 2021, respectively. Each photos present the Pensacola Mountains, south of the Ronne Ice Shelf. The December 2021 picture was acquired at 07:37 UTC, a couple of minutes earlier than the eclipse reached totality. Be aware the slight distinction in the quantity of darkness from south to north, as the south-facing slopes acquired some faint daylight from the horizon.
Total photo voltaic eclipses in the polar areas are uncommon as a result of they comprise much less of Earth’s land space and since the Sun solely lights every pole for half of the yr. The last total solar eclipse in Antarctica occurred in November 2003. The subsequent will happen in December 2039.
A two-hour video of the complete photo voltaic eclipse—as seen from Union Glacier, Antarctica—was streamed on NASA TV. It was filmed by members of the J.M. Pasachoff Antarctic Expedition, who additionally collected information on electrical activity in the ionosphere throughout the eclipse.
NASA picture courtesy of the DSCOVR EPIC crew. NASA Earth Observatory photos by Joshua Stevens, utilizing Landsat information from the U.S. Geological Survey.