May 23, 2012

Image of the Week: Solar Eclipse Dazzles

by Christine Hoekenga

This past Sunday, observers in and parts of Southeast Asia and North America witnessed an annular solar eclipse–an arrangement in which the moon shades out most but not all of the sun, leaving a bright ring around the dark lunar form. Although Earth-bound viewers couldn’t look at the eclipse directly with naked eyes, the Hinode spacecraft snapped some dazzling shots, including the one below. Hinode, a joint venture between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), is cruising in low-Earth orbit to help scientists study the sun’s magnetic field and energy releases.

May 2012 Solar Eclipse

A picture of the annular solar eclipse on May 20, 2012, captured by the Hinode spacecraft. Image Courtesy: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

To see more images of the eclipse and the wild shadows it created, visit the 2012 Annular Solar Eclipse Group on Flickr.

Then tell us: did you witness the eclipse? Where were you, and how did you view it?

Christine Hoekenga

Written by

Christine is a freelance writer, editor, and content strategist, specializing in science and nature. She holds an Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science and Media Studies and a Master's of Science Writing. She has been working in science communication and education for nearly a decade as a journalist, an organizer for conservation groups, and a museum educator. Before joining the Visionlearning team, she served as the New Media and Online Community Manager for the Webby award-winning Smithsonian Ocean Portal. Christine is assisting Visionlearning with developing new modules and glossary terms, managing the blog, and outreach through social media.