Thursday, October 15, 2020

SDO Lunar Transit, October 16, 2020

Just two weeks ago the Full Moon and Mars had a bright conjunction in the night sky. Tomorrow the New Moon will glide between SDO and the Sun for a 47 minute lunar transit. Here's the SDO FOT movie of the transit.
The transit starts at 1906 UTC (3:06 pm ET) and ends at 1953 UTC (3:53 pm ET), so it's at a perfect time for watching in the US. The Moon will cover at most about 44% of the solar disk. More important to SDO, it will cover two of the fine-guidance sensors (the red squares in the movie). This means our view of the Sun may jitter a bit during the transit, but SDO will recover soon after the Moon moves off the disk.
Enjoy the transit, and keep watching the planets Mars, Venus, and Jupiter as they move across the evening sky.