On February 26th, lucky observers along the eclipse path in Chile, Argentina, Angola, Zambia and The Democratic Republic of the Congo have been able to witness an annular eclipse. From many other locations in Africa, South America and Madagascar, that are not in the central shadow region, this event has also been observed as a partial eclipse where only part of the solar disk is covered. Seen from Earth, the eclipse started at 13:15 UT, reached its maximum at 14:58 UT and ended at 16:31 UT.
ESA's PROBA2 satellite, which orbits the Earth at an approximate height of 700 km, has also viewed this eclipse as a partial one, due to its different vantage point. In fact, because the satellite only takes about 90 minutes to orbit the Earth, it passed through the Moon’s shadow several times during the event and so PROBA2 has not observed just one, but as many as 3 partial eclipses! In addition to that, the Moon also appeared in the field of view of SWAP, the EUV imager onboard the satellite, without touching the solar disk. This is illustrated in the simulation below.
Movie 1. Simulation of the partial eclipses viewed by SWAP.
We have collected all of our SWAP data products for this eclipse in one place for easy access.
Additionally every still image from the eclipse sequence, in all three of the varieties described above, is available via this link: http://proba2.oma.be/Events/2017-Feb-26_SolarEclipse/png_sequences/.
All of the latest movies are available at the following link, in the three varieties discussed above, in MP4 format, compressed for web users and uncompressed for media users. These files will be overwritten periodically throughout the day as new data arrives, so users who would like the latest/best available movie should refresh the page. Link to the movies: http://proba2.oma.be/Events/2017-Feb-26_SolarEclipse/movies/.
The LYRA timeseries corresponding to the first transit of PROBA2 in the eclipse zone are illustrated below.
The zirconium and aluminum channels show little distorsions as compared to the usual. This was anticipated as the Sun is currently heading to the minimum of its 11-year activity cycle and only a few small active regions are present on the solar disk.
LYRA timeseries as acquired by the backup unit (unit 3 - limited degradation) are available at http://proba2.oma.be/Events/2017-Feb-26_SolarEclipse/lyra/.