2017 Solar Eclipse from L1

  • Released Monday, May 23rd, 2016
  • Updated Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 at 12:07AM
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A number of satellites will be watching the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse from space. One of them, the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) will see the eclipse from its orbit around L1, the Lagrange point located about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth along the Earth-Sun line. From this vantage point, DSCOVR's EPIC camera continuously images the full sunlit disk of the Earth.

This animation simulates the view that EPIC will have of the 2017 eclipse. The shadow size and opacity are based on the eclipse obscuration, the fraction of the Sun's disk covered by the Moon. The bright spot near the equator is the reflection of the Sun on the water. The red streak shows the path of totality, the locations on the Earth where observers will see the Sun completely covered by the Moon.

EPIC will see both the Moon's shadow and the Sun's reflection because DSCOVR's orbit takes it several degrees off both the Sun-Earth line and the Sun-Moon line. For the same reason, the Moon will not be in the frame. The animation places the virtual camera in a plausible position for DSCOVR. The actual position of the spacecraft at the time of the eclipse will be affected by adjustments to its orbit that may be made in the coming months.

EPIC has already captured the total solar eclipse of March, 2016.



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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio


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