Sunday, March 2, 2014

SPRING SDO ECLIPSE SEASON BEGINS

Via Spaceweather.com

Twice every year, around the time of the equinoxes, Earth can pass directly between the Sun and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), producing a series of beautiful eclipses. SDO's vernal eclipse season began on Feb. 27th, producing a near-total blackout of the sun:



For the next three weeks these eclipses will repeat once a day around 07:30 UT. At the beginning of the season, the eclipses are short, only a few minutes long. Their duration increases to 72 minutes, mid-season, before tapering off to minutes again as the season winds down. Because most eclipses are relatively short, there is still plenty of uninterrupted time for SDO to monitor activity on the sun. Researchers estimate a scant 2% data loss averaged over the weeks ahead.

The ongoing eclipse season will end in late March. Between now and then, stay tuned for some rare blackouts.

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