The Moon photobombs NASA's view of the Sun

The Moon photobombs NASA's view of the Sun
The Moon photobombs NASA's view of the SunNASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/Joy Ng

  • The Moon, Earth’s natural satellite, was seen photobombing NASA’s view of the Sun on October 16.
  • The ‘lunar transit’ lasted around 50 minutes and covered 44% of the Sun’s visible surface.
  • The Moon’s fly-by also covered the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s (SDO) fine guidance sensors making the Sun ‘jitter’ in the image.
The Moon, where humans one day hope to live, photobombed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) view of the Sun. This ‘lunar transit’ lasted around 50 minutes and covered around 44% of the Sun on October 16.

The Moon photobombs NASA's view of the Sun
The Moon photobombs NASA's view of the SunNASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/Joy Ng

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was launched in February of 2010 to help scientists on Earth understand variations in the Sun that can potentially influence life on Earth and its technological systems.

Advertisement
As the Moon chose to fly by the spacecraft, it also covered two of the SDO’s fine guidance sensors. This makes it appear as though the Sun ‘jitters’ slightly during observation.

NASA’s takes on the Sun
The SDO is crucial for tracking radiation from the Sun that’s headed towards Earth. The hope is to eventually predict when radiation may impact satellites or astronauts in space to protect them from its adverse impact.

The SDO does this by providing NASA with ultra-high-definition imagery of the Sun measured in 13 different wavelengths. It uses two imaging instruments to do so — the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument and the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI).

Advertisement

Each wavelength was chosen to highlight a particular part of the Sun's atmosphere, from the solar surface to the upper reaches of the Sun's corona.

The Moon's photobomb is shown while observing the AIA 171 wavelength emitted by iron-9 (Fe IX) at around 600,000 Kelvin. This wavelength shows the quiet corona and coronal loops and is typically colorized in gold.

The image also shows the Sun’s lower half, which displays two active regions. These regions are areas where the most intense magnetic fields on the Sun are located. They are often associated with solar activity and eruptions.

Advertisement
Now that the 25th Solar Cycle is underway, scientists expect more active regions to appear in the coming months.

SEE ALSO:
Wipro wins five-year contract with Europe’s third-largest producer of clean electricity

EXCLUSIVE: Trump versus Biden — Here’s what the result of the US election could mean for India

Why Tata Motors CEO is not worried about Musk's Tesla coming to India

BYJU’S renewal rates stand at 86% – the founder of the $11 billion edtech startup shares how they cracked the code for repeat subscriptions

{{}}