26 February 2017 - Mission Day: 7758 - DOY: 057

Eclipses are 24/7/365 on SOHO

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Composite EIT/Eclipse/LASCO C2
Composite EIT/Eclipse/LASCO C2

Two different composite images from the time of the eclipse, with an EIT 304 Å image (innermost), ground based images, and LASCO C2 image (outermost). Eclipse images from: Left - S. Koutchmy (IAS/IAP/CNRS), Right - Williams College. The orientations of the eclipse images are approximate.

Print media: TIFF image.

Print media: TIFF image.

Caption: With a unique view from the first Lagrangian point (L1), outside the disturbing influence of Earth's atmosphere, SOHO's Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) produces its own eclipse all the time by simply blocking direct light from the solar disk. Other instruments on board look directly at the Sun, with the same advantage of an uninterrupted view - there are no nights on SOHO, and the Moon never gets in the way.

So, when a total eclipse happens to be observable from Earth, SOHO is one of the primary sources of information about what lies in wait for the eager observers in possibly remote locations. This is also the case this time (on 21 June 2001), when a number of expeditions go to Angola, Zambia, or Zimbabwe to catch the magic moment. Although SOHO has its own eclipse, there is still a lot to gain from ground based observations, with sophisticated equipment that can be fine tuned for particular goals.

A number of groups collaborate with SOHO, requesting special observations that will be used for comparisons with the ground based images. A number of expeditions and their requests can be found at our eclipse operations page. Instruments involved are the Coronal Diagnostic Spectrometer (CDS), the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT), MDI (Michelson Doppler Imager), UVCS (Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer). To ensure no data loss due to telemetry drop outs, the solid state recorder was used even during telemetry contact times.

Related links:

Instruments: Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO); Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT); CCD Eclipse image;
Taken: 21 June 2001
Picture credits: SOHO/LASCO, SOHO/EIT (ESA & NASA), S. Koutchmy et al (IAS/IAP/CNRS), Williams College.


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