Satellites capture the moon’s shadow during the total solar eclipse on April 8 from space

As we know, a total solar eclipse swept across North America on April 8, 2024, when the moon completely blocked the sun and cast a shadow over North America.

This total solar eclipse stretched from the Pacific coast of Mexico to the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland, Canada.

Not only the millions of Americans saw the day turn temporarily night due to the moon’s shadow, but also satellites from NASA, ESA, and SpaceX captured the moon’s shadow on earth from space during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. 

1. Moon’s shadow on Earth from the International Space Station

Moon's shadow on earth from the International Space Station during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024
Moon’s shadow on Earth from the International Space Station during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. (Image credit: NASA)

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station captured the moon’s shadow on Earth during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, when the space station was orbiting 261 miles (420 km) above the northeastern coast of the United States. 

When the picture was taken, the moon’s shadow covered portions of the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick and the American state of Maine.

2. Moon’s shadow on Earth from a Starlink satellite of SpaceX

Moon's shadow on earth from a Starlink satellite of SpaceX during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024
Moon’s shadow on Earth from a Starlink satellite of SpaceX during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. (Image credit: SpaceX)

The Starlink satellite of SpaceX, which provides high-speed satellite internet from space, also captured the moon’s shadow on Earth from its orbit during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. 

3. Moon’s shadow on Earth from ESA’s GOES-16 satellite

Moon's shadow on earth from ESA's GOES-16 satellite during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024
Moon’s shadow on Earth from ESA’s GOES-16 satellite during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. (Image credit: ESA)

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-16) captured the moon’s shadow over North America during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, when the satellite was orbiting 36,000 km above the earth’s surface.

4. Moon’s shadow on Earth from NASA’s DSCOVR satellite

Moon's shadow on earth from NASA's DSCOVR satellite during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024
Moon’s shadow on Earth from NASA’s DSCOVR satellite during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. (Image credit: NASA)

NASA’s DSCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory) satellite captured the moon’s shadow as it passed over North America during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

The satellite observes our earth from Lagrange Point 1, a gravitationally stable position between the Sun and Earth, which is located about 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth.

5. Moon’s shadow on Earth from NOAA-20 satellite

The NOAA-20 satellite captured a view of North America before the eclipse, during the eclipse, and after the eclipse on April 8, 2024
The NOAA-20 satellite captured a view of North America before the eclipse, during the eclipse, and after the eclipse on April 8, 2024. (Image credit: NASA)

The NOAA-20 satellite, which orbits the Earth from pole to pole, captured the moon’s shadow as it raced eastward over North America. It is a mosaic of three images captured at three different times on April 8, 2024.

The right third of the image shows the eastern US at about 1:10 p.m. EDT (17:10 UTC), before the eclipse had begun on April 8.

The middle part of the image captured at about 1:50 p.m. CDT (18:50 UTC) on April 8, when the eclipse was in progress in the center of the country. Even outside of the path of totality, skies were much darker throughout the U.S.

The left third of the image was captured at about 1:30 p.m. PDT (20:30 UTC), after the Moon’s shadow had moved out over the Atlantic Ocean.

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About the Author

Ashim

Ashim Chandra Sarkar founded Space & Telescope in 2022. He holds a M.Sc. in physics and has five years of research experience in optical astronomy. His passion for astronomy inspired him to open this website. He is responsible for the editorial vision of spaceandtelescope.com.

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