Thursday, November 1, 2018

Lunar Transit on November 7, 2018

SDO will experience a lunar transit on November 7, 2018. Here is a movie from the Flight Operations Team that shows SDO, the Sun, and the Moon during the transit. This transit lasts from 2024-2116 UTC (3:24-4:16 pm ET) and covers at most about 44% of SDO's view of the Sun.

The Moon moves from left to right during this transit. That makes it an SDO-overtake transit.

Although you can see the Moon throughout the movie SDO's instruments cannot see the Moon when it is not covering the Sun. The little white flash seen in the Moon is the word "Moon" being written by the software and then quickly covered. The boxes drawn around and on the Sun help the FOT run the spacecraft. The time is displayed in the lower left corner of the movie. The first seven numbers are the year (2018) and the day of year (311). The six numbers after the period are the hour, minutes, and second of UTC (2 numbers each).

The next SDO Lunar Transit will be on March 6, 2019. That one will also be a double transit similar to the one in September 2018.