March 1, 2009

Kaguya's Reverse Solar Eclipse

The lunar orbiter Kaguya (aka Selene), launched by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), has released a recent video of a unique solar eclipse; however, this time, instead of the moon coming between the sun and the observer (Kaguya, in this case), the earth moves in front of the moon. What's spectacular about this video, though, is the diamond-ring effect. In all other videos of solar eclipses, I've never seen a diamond-ring effect so brilliant as this one is. I'm not quite sure why this is the case; perhaps due to a wide lens aperture or the fact that there was no atmosphere to help diffuse all that light. Either way, Milady would like a diamond ring now that's as brilliant as the one in this video. ;) The video was taken on February 10th.

For more about the eclipse, read the article at Science@NASA

Science@NASA also notes that this is the third time humanity's been able to see a reverse solar eclipse. The first picture was taken by Surveyor 3 back in April 1967 (you can see it by clicking on the link above). The second was taken by Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean in November 1969, and is the image below:

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