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; a composite of eclipse shadow images can be seen 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]

“Blood Moon” total lunar eclipse, and a selenelion

October 8th, 2014 |

A “Blood Moon” total lunar eclipse occurred between 09:15 UTC and 12:34 UTC on 08 October 2014. One effect of this eclipse can be seen in a comparison of nighttime “during eclipse” and “after eclipse” Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm Day/Night Band images (above). The 11:33 UTC “during eclipse” Day/Night Band image appears somewhat dim and washed out, due to limited illumination by only red sunlight being refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere into the eclipse shadow. Less than 2 hours later, the 13:14 UTC Day/Night Band image appears much more bright with crisp cloud feature details, due to an abundance of illumination from the Full Moon.

A few hours after sunrise in North America, a portion of the Moon was captured on the GOES-13 (GOES-East) 0.63 µm visible channel image at 16:30 UTC (below). Note how the edges of the Moon appear slightly jagged, caused by the fact that it was moving (setting) behind the Earth as the GOES-13 imager instrument was scanning horizontally step-wise from north to south. In addition, at the point where the edge of the Moon meets the edge of the Earth, there is a “lensing effect” where the Earth’s atmosphere is refracting light from the Moon and creating the illusion of a curved wedge of dark space that is visible within the atmosphere.

Speaking of sunrise, an interesting aspect of this lunar eclipse was that it was a rare “selenelion”, when the rising sun in the east could be seen at the same time as the non-eclipsed portion of the setting moon in the west (Space.com article). This selenelion was captured at 12:03 UTC or 7:03 am local time by the east-looking and west-looking rooftop cameras on the Space Science and Engineering Center building (below; image captures courtesy of John Lalande, SSEC).

Total solar eclipse shadow crossing northeastern Australia and the South Pacific Ocean

November 13th, 2012 |
MTSAT-1R 0.7 µm visible channel images

MTSAT-1R 0.7 µm visible channel images

The shadow from a total solar eclipse could be seen moving east-southeastward across northeastern Australia and the adjacent waters of the South Pacific Ocean on Japanese MTSAT-1R 0.7 µm visible channel images (above).

The solar eclipse shadow was also evident on a visible image from the Korean COMS-1 satellite (below).

COMS-1 visible channel image

COMS-1 visible channel image

As the eclipse shadow continued to move eastward, it was seen on a US NOAA GOES-15 0.63 µm visible channel image (below).

GOES-15 0.63 µm visible channel image

GOES-15 0.63 µm visible channel image

“Ring” Solar eclipse shadow moving across northern North America

June 10th, 2021 |

Early on June 10th, 2021 there was a solar eclipse for the northern portions of the globe. This was not a total, but annular (or “ring”) solar eclipse. Satellite instruments, such as NOAA’s ABI on GOES-16 (East) can monitor the shadow of the moon as it falls on the Earth. There are several recent examples from December 2020 (South America), June 2020 (southern Asia), December 2019 (central Pacific), July 2019 (southern hemisphere), January 2019 (Asia) and August 2017 (central US).

GOES ABI

The shadow cast on the Earth could be seen from NOAA’s GOES-16 (East) ABI. This included both the visible and near-infrared spectral bands, and the ABI band 7 (at 3.9 micrometers).

A time animation of NOAA’s GOES-16 ABI band 3 (0.86 micrometers) on June 10, 2021.
A time animation of the cooling associated wit the shadow on the Earth’s surface can be seen in this GOES-16 ABI band 7 (3.9 micrometers) animation.
A time animation of the Full Disk view showing the CIMSS true color spectral composite on June 10, 2021. This product does not employ a Rayleigh correction.

There are other similar loops are posted on many web pages, such as this one from UW/SSEC. This page is a collection of those links.

The 10 UTC composite Full Disk GOES-16 image from June 10, 2021.

A larger image of the GOES-16 10 UTC Full Disk composite shown above.

The shadow from the moon could also been seen from NOAA’s GOES-17 (West) ABI on June 10, 2021.

A more zoomed in GOES-17 view.

AWIPS animation (mp4) of the CIMSS Natural Color RGB from both GOES-16 and GOES-17.

The same loop as above, but as an animated gif. Thanks to Scott.

Japan’s AHI

Japan’s AHI near-infared (band 4 centered at 0.86 micrometers) imagery on June 10, 2021.

While it’s subtle, the shadow could also be seen in Japan’s AHI.

HEO (highly elliptical orbit)

A satellite was recently launched by Russia into a highly elliptical orbit (Molniya). The satellite (Arctica) is in a commissioning phase, but some imagery from the 10-band imager of the eclipse shadow was released.

Google translation: An annular happened today #???????? Suns — For the first time in half a century, it was accessible for observation from Russia; it was best seen from Yakutia and Chukotka. Russian satellites #??????? and #???????? were able to capture this astronomical phenomenon from orbit.

Ground-based Image

A image from Chris Draves over Lake Mendota (Madison, WI).

Background

This map of the eclipse path shows where the June 10, 2021, annular and partial solar eclipse will occur. Times are UTC.
Credits: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio/Ernie Wright.

Credits

NOAA GOES-16 ABI data are via the University of Wisconsin-Madison SSEC Satellite Data Services. Thanks Scott Bachmeier, CIMSS for the AWIPS animation.