NASA reveals stunning shots when Earth blocks face of sun
The image turns purple due to extreme ultraviolet light
NASA’s sun-observing spacecraft has capttured colourful images of the moment the earth blocked its view of the sun.
In a short animation posted on Tuesday, the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s (SDO) view of a purple sun is interrupted as Earth completely covers its surface.
The sun isn’t actually purple, but it looks that colour because the images were taken in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light.
This kind of ultraviolet light is a type that’s usually invisible to the human eye, so NASA noted that it’s been colourised in purple. The event marks the beginning of the SDO’s eclipse season, which is a threeweek period that comes twice a year near the equinoxes.
When this happens, the earth blocks the SDO’s view of the sun for a short moment each day, NASA said. “The eclipses are fairly short near the beginning and end of the season but ramp up to 72 minutes in the middle,” the agency explained.
“The SDO’s orbit is designed to maximise the amount of data the spacecraft can send back to earth, but twice a year Earth gets in the way of the spacecraft’s view,"
The SDO keeps a constant eye on the sun, studying its atmosphere and effects on the near-Earth environment.
The satellite has been monitoring the sun since 2010 and has captured some fascinating footage since then. In 2015, the SDO captured its 100 millionth image of the sun, according to CNET. NASA noted that the spring eclipse season began on February 10 with a partial eclipse and ends on March 5.
This type of an image is usually invisible to the human eye.