On 1 September a rare 'ring-of-fire' double eclipse occurred over Africa. Meteosat-10 captured the shadow as the satellite passed over the continent.
22 September 2022
01 September 2016
By Vesa Nietosvaara and Mark Higgins (EUMETSAT)
On the Natural Colour RGB animated gif (Figure 2) the shadow caused as the Moon blocked the Sun, can be seen appearing over central parts of Africa.
On the RGB image from 08:30 UTC the red arrow indicates where the shadow occurred (Figure 1).
The geostationary location of Meteosat is ideal for following solar eclipses affecting its footprint. Especially those lasting for a few hours, while the shade of the Moon moves across the Earth.
The double solar eclipse, sometimes known as the 'ring of fire' or annular eclipse, was similar to a complete solar eclipse. But, the ring of fire eclipse occurs when the Moon is at a point in its orbit which is further away from the Earth than usual.
The name of the eclipse comes from the overall appearance of the Sun during the phenomenon. The additional distance from the Earth causes the Moon's apparent size to be reduced, which results in the Sun not being entirely blocked. As a result the partial eclipse leaves a bright, narrow ring of the surface of the Sun visible, which looks like a ring of fire.
The eclipse was also seen from the Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) on Sentinel-3 (Figure 3).
The image shows 24 hours of daytime passes. The eclipse can be seen as the dark patch over Central and Southern Africa, on the left-hand side of the image.
The right-hand side shows the passes over Africa from 31 August, where the usual land colours can be seen.
Annular solar eclipse on solstice
During the 2020 June solstice the shadow of the Moon, travelling from west to east, appeared in the images of three geostationary satellites.
Annular solar eclipse over Antarctica
The annular solar eclipse on 29 April was seen as a dark shadow on the edge of Meteosat-7's view.
Rare hybrid solar eclipse
Meteosat-10 captures images at 15-minute intervals of the solar eclipse over Africa.
Solar eclipse over Europe and northern Africa
Solar eclipse over Europe and northern Africa in October 2005.