Tracking a Lunar Umbra (solar eclipse shadow) across the Atlantic Ocean

November 3rd, 2013
Meteosat-10 0.635 µm visible channel images (click to play animation)

Meteosat-10 0.635 µm visible channel images (click to play animation)

A rare “hybrid” solar eclipse occurred on 03 November 2013 (photos), which began over the western Atlantic Ocean as an annular eclipse and transitioned into a full total solar eclipse for observers along the narrow path of totality in the far eastern Atlantic and over parts of Africa (map of eclipse path). The Lunar Umbra (or solar eclipse shadow) could be seen tracking rapidly southeastward across the Atlantic Ocean on EUMETSAT Meteosat-10 0.635 µm visible channel images from 10:45-14:30 UTC (above; click image to play animation).

The dark solar eclipse shadow could also be seen near the edge of the Full Disk scan of the GOES-13 satellite at 11:45 UTC, just south and southwest of the Cape Verde Islands (below). Since the current generation of GOES only perform a full disk scan once every 3 hours,  the eclipse shadow could not be followed in time as it was using the 15-minute interval images from Meteosat-10.

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images

With the next-generation GOES-R series, a full disk scan will occur once every 5 minutes. As a part of the GOES-14 Super Rapid Scan for GOES-R (SRSOR) testing, full disk scans were performed every 30 minutes on 14 September 2012.

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