You are here


PROBA2 Partial Eclipse Observations - 13-Jul-2018 and 11-Aug-2018

Two partial solar eclipses will be visible this summer: one on 2018 July 13 and another on 2018 August 11.

The majority of the eclipse in July will take place over the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and a very small fraction above the southern Australia.

PROBA2 Partial Eclipse Observations - 15-Feb-2018

A partial solar eclipse was visible on 2018 February 15, in the southern part of South America, including many locations in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, as well as in Antarctica. The eclipse was visible from some areas of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as well. 

Eighth Call for PROBA2 Guest Investigator Program - Extended

Due to a recent surge in interest in the PROBA2 Guest Investigator program the proposal submission deadline has been extended to 2017-Oct-08 (23:59 CET). Those who have already submitted a proposal may re-submit their proposal if they wish to work on them more.

PROBA2 Eclipse Observations - 21-Aug-2017

Figure 1. SWAP eclipse image sequence from the first passage of the 2017 August 21 eclipse.

UPDATE: The SWAP images are received from the satellite. Check out the pictures and movies below. 

Monday, 21 August 2017 has marked an important celestial event, a total solar eclipse. This was a well observed event, as the eclipse transited the whole of North America. The path of the eclipse can be seen here. People along the path saw a total eclipse, and those outside this path witnessed a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk. The eclipse was visible for about two and a half minutes from any location along the path of totality, and first seen on the west coast of the USA in Oregon at around 10:19 am PDT and finally in South Carolina at around 02:44 p.m EDT (more timing information can be found here). For more information on other types of eclipses, visit here.

Automated SWAP Carrington Rotation Movies Online - Now with daily updates!

Mini Carrington Rotation ImageThe PROBA2 team is proud to present fully automated and daily updated Carrington rotation movies. A Carrington Rotation is a period of time chosen to represent one rotation of the Sun, allowing the comparison of features such as sunspot groups or active regions (a description of active regions can be found here). A period of 27.28 days was chosen to represent a single rotation that largely resembles the recurrence time of features near the equator.
The rotation period was initially conceived by Richard Carrington, when he determined the rotation rate of low latitude sunspots. Carrington determined a rotation rate of 25.38 days relative to background stars (sidereal rotation period). However, due to the Earths orbit, this is perceived as 27.28 days from the Earth. Each rotation of the Sun is assigned a Carrington Rotation Number, starting from 09-Nov-1853. That number has now reached 2194 at time of writing (13-Jun-2017); More information can be found here.

PROBA2 Guest Investigator 7th Call Results

We are pleased to announce that the PROBA2 Science Working Team has selected 8 proposals for the 2016 Guest Investigator Program.

Seventh Call for PROBA2 Guest Investigator Program - Deadline Extended

Due to a recent surge in interest in the PROBA2 Guest Investigator program the proposal submission deadline has been extended to 2016-April-01. Those who have already submitted a proposal may re-submit their proposal if they wish to work on them more.

PROBA2 views Partial Solar Eclipse - 8 & 9 March 2016

On 2016 March 8 and 9, a solar eclipse took place over the Pacific Ocean. This eclipse was total -that is, the entire solar disk was covered by the Moon- over Indonesia and the central Pacific, starting at sunrise over Sumatra and ending at sunset north of the Hawaiian Islands. Additionally, large parts of South-East Asia, Alaska and Australia witnessed a partial solar eclipse. The path of totality had a maximum width of 155 km and the maximum duration was 4 minutes and 9 seconds at the point of greatest eclipse, which was over the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

SWAP Carrington Rotation Movies

Mini Carrington Rotation ImageWhen observing the Sun for a prolonged period of time, it soon becomes evident that features on its surface, and in its outer atmosphere do not rotate at the same rate. This is because the Sun is not a solid body, but a big ball of magnetised plasma, whose rotation is variable with position and height in the solar atmosphere. One of the most striking observations is that of ‘differential’ rotation, where features on the solar surface and in the solar atmosphere are observed to rotate faster at the equator (rotation period = 25.4 days) when compared to those closer to the poles (rotation period = 36 days). This is evident in observations of sunspots, which have been used as tracers for measuring solar motion for many years. 

SWAP Observes Another Eclipse - and this Time it's Annular

SWAP Annular Eclipse

The total solar eclipse observed in March 2015 caught a lot of people's attention, especially as the path of totality passed over most of Northern Europe. There was a great deal of fan-fair and plans to observe the eclipse from the ground. However, due to heavy cloud cover, a lot of people had to turn to space-based observations, such as those made by the sun watching extreme-ultraviolet imager: SWAP, on board the European Space Agency's PROBA2 satellite, which images the Sun from the vantage point of a polar Earth orbit, away from pesky cloud cover. More information about the March eclipse can be found here and here.

SWAP observes the solar corona in a passband centered on a wavelength of 17.4 nm. The structures seen in SWAP images have a temperature of approximately 1 million degrees. More information about the SWAP instrument is available here.

It may come as some surprise, especially for those in Europe, that there was another eclipse observed on 2015-Sep-13. Whether you are able to observe an eclipse from the ground depends on your geographic location, in contrast to the March eclipse which was seen from Northern Europe and the Arctic regions, the September eclipse was observed in the southern hemisphere from Antarctica and southern Africa. In any given year the Earth will experience at least 2 solar eclipses due to the Earth and Moon's orbit.


Subscribe to RSS - SWAP