The Earth-orbiting satellite Hinode caught this stunning video of the annular solar eclipse Jan. 4.
An annular eclipse occurs when the moon is slightly farther from Earth than usual and appears slightly smaller. When it moves between the Earth and sun, it covers the center of the sun, leaving a bright, fiery ring, or annulus, at the edge.
Hinode, a Japanese mission, studies the sun’s magnetic fields and surface eruptions. The satellite carries three NASA-developed telescopes that capture different types of light:
The optical telescope sees visible light.
The X-ray telescope, which took the video above, can see deep inside the corona.
The ultraviolet-light telescope reveals the deep, high-temperature processes that heat the sun’s corona.
This will be a good year for eclipse fans. With four partial-solar and two total-lunar eclipses upcoming, watch for more sun shots.
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