Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fall 2011 Eclipse Season Begins

The Fall 2011 eclipse season started today. Here is an AIA 171 image from 0657 UT with the first eclipse! SDO has eclipse seasons twice a year near each equinox. For three weeks near midnight Las Cruces time (about 0700 UT) our orbit has the Earth pass between SDO and the Sun. These eclipses can last up to 72 minutes in the middle of an eclipse season. The current eclipse season started on September 11 and lasts until October 4. The continuous contact with the ground station our orbit allows was judged to outweigh the loss of some images.