Skywatchers in southern South America were treated to one total solar eclipse on Monday (Dec. 14), and a weather satellite captured a beautiful view of the event from space.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GOES-16 satellite watched the moon’s shadow dance across the Pacific Ocean, parts of Chile and Argentina, and the Atlantic Ocean during the only total solar eclipse of 2020. NOAA shared a great video of the satellite images on Twitter shortly after the solar eclipse.
The moon began obliterating the sun in some locations around 9:15 a.m. EST (1415 GMT), causing a partial solar eclipse for viewers in areas such as Lima, Peru. Meanwhile, on the path of totality – a thin strip of Chile and Argentina – viewers saw the sky darken for just over two minutes at around 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT).
Related: Total Solar Eclipse 2020: See the moment of totality over Chile
#SATELLITE SPOTLIGHT: Here’s a closer look at today’s total #SolarEclipse from @ NOAA’s # GOES16🛰️. The moon’s shadow followed the South Pacific, as well as # Chile and # Argentina, before moving into the South Atlantic just before sunset. pic.twitter.com/YoO9N36s7cDecember 14, 2020
View from GOES-16 offers skywatchers around the world the opportunity to enjoy the total solar eclipse as it was difficult to see the event in person due to the narrow path of totality and limited travel options with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The NOAA video provides a detailed picture of Earth’s deep blue oceans, brown and green land, and swirling white clouds from space. It shows the rising sun in the Southern Hemisphere and the dark shadow of the moon rolling across the Pacific Ocean and the darkening sky over South America before continuing across the Atlantic.
“Although GOES East was mainly visible from Earth in parts of South America, it had a perfect view of the moon’s shadow moving across the Earth,” NOAA said in another tweet. (GOES East is the orbital position GOES-16 has occupied since late 2017.)
The total solar eclipse December 14 was the last solar eclipse of this year and also the only total solar eclipse. NASA and other sources offered live broadcasts of the event, which you can view online. The next total solar eclipse will take place on December 4, 2021 over the Antarctic Peninsula.
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