Total solar eclipse of 21 August 2017 – a satellite perspective

August 21st, 2017 |

* GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing*

GOES-16 CONUS Sector images (at 5-minute intervals)

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation]

During the total solar eclipse of 21 August 2017,  the lunar umbra was evident on imagery from the GOES-16  0.5 km resolution (at satellite sub-point) “Red” Visible band (0.64 µm) (above) and 1.0 km resolution Near-Infrared “Vegetation” band (0.86 µm) (below).

GOES-16 Near-Infrared

GOES-16 Near-Infrared “Vegetation” (0.86 µm) images [click to play animation]

The shadow was also prominent in other Visible and Near-Infrared bands, as shown in a 4-panel comparison of GOES-16 “Blue” Visible (0.47 µm, upper left), “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, upper right), “Vegetation” (0.86 µm, lower left) and “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm, lower right) images (below).

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Blue” Visible (0.47 µm, upper left), “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, upper right), “Vegetation” (0.86 µm, lower left) and “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm, lower right) images [click to play animation]

GOES-16 true-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images from the SSEC Geostationary Satellite site (below) showed another view of the shadow. A GOES-16 Full-Disk true-color animation (courtesy of  Kaba Bah, CIMSS) is available here.

GOES-16 true-color RGB images [click to play animation]

GOES-16 true-color RGB images [click to play animation]

The 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared band is also sensitive to reflected solar radiation — particularly that which is reflected from land surfaces and cloud tops composed of small spherical supercooled water droplets (and to a lesser extent, small ice crystals) — which causes this band to sense warmer (darker gray to black) brightness temperatures compared to the other ABI infrared bands. Therefore, a loss of sunlight within the eclipse shadow will lead to cooling (lighter shades of gray) 3.9 µm brightness temperatures (below).

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images [click to play animation]

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Taking a closer look at eastern Missouri and southern Illinois as the solar eclipse shadow was passing over that region shortly after 1800 UTC (1:00 pm local time), GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (below) revealed that the pronounced decrease of incoming solar radiation appeared to temporarily suppressed the development of widespread boundary layer cumulus clouds. Note that increase in hourly surface temperatures was also halted, with some locations even experiencing a slight cooling (1-3 ºF) due to reduction of heating within the lunar umbra.

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with hourly surface reports plotted in yellow [click to play animation]

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images (below) also showed a slight cooling — seen as a lighter shade of red enhancement — across the region.

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images, with hourly surface reports plotted in yellow [click to play animation]

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images, with hourly surface reports plotted in yellow [click to play animation]

GOES-16 Mesoscale Sector images (at 1-minute intervals)

GOES-16 "Red" Visible (0.64 µm) images, with station identifiers plotted in yellow [click to play animation]

1-minute GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with station identifiers plotted in yellow [click to play animation]

A “floating” Mesoscale Sector provided 1-minute imagery during the eclipse (above).

Polar-orbiting satellite images (Terra MODIS, and Suomi NPP VIIRS)

Terra MODIS Visible (0.65 µm). Land Surface Temperature product, Shortwave Infrared (3.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS Visible (0.65 µm), Land Surface Temperature product, Shortwave Infrared (3.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images [click to enlarge]

A toggle between Terra MODIS Visible (0.65 µm), Land Surface Temperature product, Shortwave Infrared (3.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images (above) showed the eclipse shadow as it was centered over western Nebraska around 1748 UTC. Without a time series of MODIS Land Surface Temperature product images, it is difficult to gauge the exact amount of surface cooling brought about within the shadow of totality. A large-scale high resolution Terra MODIS Visible image is available here (courtesy of Liam Gumley, SSEC).

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm), Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm), Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

A comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm), Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (above) showed the shadow center over eastern Tennessee around 1833 UTC. A closer comparison of Day/Night Band and Infrared images (below) revealed the  presence of cloud features that made it difficult to see a signature of any city lights that may have come on in the Nashville TN (KBNA) metropolitan area.

Suomi NPP VIIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP and the Solar Eclipse on 21 August 2017

August 14th, 2017 |

The paths that Polar Orbiting satellites take around the Earth are predictable, and the prediction for next Monday, 21 August 2017 is shown above (image courtesy Rick Kohrs, SSEC). Note that Suomi NPP has an ascending orbit passing over the eastern part of the USA, from Florida to Michigan, at predicted times of 1830-1834 UTC on 21 August 2017. At 1832 UTC, Suomi NPP should be over the Great Smoky Mountains.

At the same time, the shadow of totality will be over eastern Tennessee as well, as shown below (from this site). Thus, Suomi NPP will be well-positioned to observe a snapshot (with excellent spatial resolution) of the umbral shadow of this eclipse, to complement the excellent temporal resolution of GOES-16.

Note: GOES-16 also observed the shadow of the 26 February 2017 solar eclipse in the Southern Hemisphere. In addition, the Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) on Himawari-8 viewed the shadow of the Eclipse in the western Pacific Ocean on 9 March 2016 (Click here for an mp4 animation of all 16 AHI Channels).

GOES-16: visible and true-color images of a solar eclipse shadow

February 26th, 2017 |

GOES-16 ABI Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation]

GOES-16 ABI Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation]

GOES-16 — the first of the GOES-R seriesABI visible (0.64 µm) images captured the Lunar Umbra (or solar eclipse shadow) of the “ring of fire” annular eclipse that occurred in the Southern Hemisphere on 26 February 2017. The dark eclipse shadow could be seen moving from west to east, beginning over the southern Pacific Ocean, passing over far southern Chile and Argentina, and finally moving over the southern Atlantic Ocean. GOES-16 will routinely scan the Full Disk every 15 minutes (the current GOES Full Disk scan interval is once every 3 hours), but in a special mode can scan the Full Disk every 5 minutes.

The path of the eclipse shadow (courtesy of EarthSky.org) is shown below.

Path of 26 February 2017 solar eclipse shadow [click to enlarge]

Path of 26 February 2017 solar eclipse shadow [click to enlarge]

True-color GOES-16 Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images are shown below (courtesy of Kaba Bah, CIMSS).

GOES-16 true-color images [click to play animation]

GOES-16 true-color images [click to play animation]

Note: the GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing on-orbit testing.

Solar eclipse shadow as seen from geostationary satellites

March 9th, 2016 |

Himawari-8 true-color images [click to play MP4 animation]

Himawari-8 true-color images [click to play MP4 animation]

The shadow of the total solar eclipse of 09 March 2016 was captured by a number of geostationary satellites, including JMA Himawari-8 (above; also available as either a large 140 Mbyte animated GIF, or a YouTube video: large) | small) and KMA COMS-1 (below). The Himawari-8 true-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images were created using the Simple Hybrid Contrast Stretch (SHCS) method by Yasuhiko Sumida, SSEC visiting scientist from JMA.

COMS-1 Visible (0.67 um) images [click to play animation]

COMS-1 Visible (0.67 um) images [click to play animation]

Toward the end of the eclipse, the shadow was also seen with NOAA GOES-15 (below) as it moved northwest and north of Hawai’i.

GOES-15 Visible (0.63 um) images [click to play animation]

GOES-15 Visible (0.63 um) images [click to play animation]

In addition, the eclipse shadow was captured with the Chinese satellites FY-2E and FY-2G (below).

FY-2E Visible (0.73 µm) images [click to enlarge]

FY-2E Visible (0.73 µm) images [click to enlarge]

FY-2G Visible (0.73 µm) images [click to enlarge]

FY-2G Visible (0.73 µm) images [click to enlarge]