Annular solar eclipse on solstice

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During the 2020 June solstice the shadow of the Moon, travelling from west to east, appeared in the images of three geostationary satellites.

Date & Time
21 June 2020, 00:00–12:00 UTC
Meteosat-8 & 11 and Himawari-8
Natural Colour RGB

By Jan Kanak (SHMU) and Natasa Strelec Mahovic (EUMETSAT)

On 21 June 2020 the Moon reached the space between the Earth and the Sun in its orbit, making it possible to observe a solar eclipse from some places on Earth. Because the angular diameter of the Moon (the Moon apparent size from the Earth) was smaller than that of the Sun at this time, an annular or ring eclipse occurred.

The shadow of the Moon first appeared in the morning over central Africa, advancing northeast across the south of the Arabian Peninsula over southern Asia to China, and gradually disappearing over the Pacific Ocean (Figure 1).

Figure 1
Figure 1: Map of the moon shadow path, Source:

The movement of the Moon's shadow on the Earth's surface was seen by three meteorological satellites: Meteosat-11 at 0° longitude (Figures 2 and 3), Meteosat-8 at 41.5° E (Figures 4 and 5) and Himawari-8 at 140° E (Figures 6 and 7).

Notice the oval shadow that gradually appears in the animations, always over a different part of the Earth, moving from west to east. The most complete course of this phenomenon is captured in the animation of images from the Meteosat-8 satellite, performing the Indian Ocean Data Coverage (IODC) service.

Figure 2
Figure 2: Shadow of the Moon over the northeast of the African continent, the Red Sea and the Arabic peninsula, Meteosat-11, Natural Colour RGB, 21 June 05:00 UTC


Figure 3: Meteosat-11 Natural Colour RGB, 21 June 01:30–12:00 UTC


Figure 4
Figure 4: Shadow of the Moon as viewed from Meteosat-8, Natural Colour RGB, 21 June 05:00 UTC


Figure 5: Meteosat-8 Natural Colour RGB images, 21 June 00:00 UTC–09:00 UTC


Figure 6
Figure 6: Shadow of the Moon over China, Himawari-8, Natural Colour RGB, 21 June 07:30 UTC


Figure 7: Himawari-8 Natural Colour RGB, 21 June 02:30–12:00 UTC

Note: Data from these satellites were received via EUMETCast data service and processed at SHMÚ.

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