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First eclipse of the year

In the early hours of April 20 a solar eclipse took place. This was a hybrid solar eclipse, where first there is a total eclipse, which is then followed by an annular eclipse. This rare phenomenon is caused by the curvature of the Earth.

Regions on Earth that saw, at least, a partial eclipse include parts of South/East Asia, Australia, and Antarctica. This meant that only a very small fraction of the world's population was able to witness this event.

Even if it was a difficult eclipse to observe from the ground, PROBA2 had a front-row seat! Our EUV-telescope SWAP was able to register no less than 5 passages of the Moon in its field-of-view. Of those 5 passages, there were only 3 where the Moon actually moved in front of the solar disk. We then speak of an occultation. These were also closely observed by our LYRA instrument.

Click below to see a movie of the simulation of the eclipse that was used to plan the PROBA2 observations of this event. During the last occultation (4th passage) up to nearly 71% of the solar disk was covered by the Moon.

LYRA observations

As for all eclipses, LYRA activated one of its backup units, which acquires in parallel with the nominal unit. The instrument monitors the progressive extinction of the solar light in its channels that observe in the ultraviolet (red and green curves) and extreme ultraviolet (black and blue curves). Below are observations from the eclipse. LYRA observations are available in the event directory.

SWAP observations

We made high cadence observations with SWAP and produced our typical sets of calibrated PNG images (with logos and timestamp, with timestamp only, and without logos or timestamp), as well as movies of the event. All the movies and images of the eclipse are collected in dedicated directories on our webpages. The event directory also contains a specially selected SWAP image to promote the eclipse. This is the image with the largest part of the Sun occulted by the Moon. Click on the image below to see the full movie of the eclipse.

Data Use Policy

All PROBA2 images and movies used in outreach and the media should be credited to "ESA/ROB". Additional information about the terms of use for PROBA2 data is available on the PROBA2 website.

Contacting the PROBA2 Team

All requests for media comments, data assistance, or planning requests can be directed to the SWAP and LYRA teams via