Watch Earth eclipse the sun, in NASA’s GIFs of high-res satellite imagery

For a few weeks a year, a massive black shadow dashes across images captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. The observatory is technically only supposed to take pictures of the sun—but once in a while, Earth gets in the way.

The SDO orbits Earth, and captures images at roughly IMAX resolution (pdf). It typically enjoys a constant view of the sun, thanks to its position in a geosynchronous orbit. At this orbit, more than 20,000 miles above the earth, the satellite moves at the same...

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