Thursday, February 27, 2014

2014 Spring Eclipse Season has Begun

The SDO 2014 Spring Eclipse Season has begun! For the next 3 weeks the Earth will pass between SDO and the Sun around 0730 UTC each morning. They start short and last up to 72 minutes before tapering back to short.

Here is an image from our first eclipse. It is always nice to see the ragged edge of the Earth's atmosphere as the bright spots on the Sun shine through while the dimmer regions disappear. Here we can see AR 11988 near the edge of the Earth, with a coronal hole just to the right. Active regions 11981-11984 are further to the right and are hardly affected by the Earth, although they soon disappear behind the Earth.

When SDO can't see the Sun we don't get data. Eclipses are one of our largest data holes. But the orbit gives us 24/7 access to the data flow. So far we have received 98% of the data, so the eclipses aren't a problem but they are pretty!