Eclipse's Shadow Seen from Space

Eclipse's Shadow Seen from Space
This image, released by NASA's Earth Observatory, reveals a dark spot on our planet, covering Taiwan and surrounding areas, during the total solar eclipse on July 22, 2009. (Image credit: NASA/WebGMS–MTSAT/GMS (HIMAWARI) Website, Institute of Industrial Science & Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo)

When a moon shadow crossed Earth Wednesday, millions of people in India and China looked up. At the same time, a Japanese satellite looked down.

The new image, released by NASA's Earth Observatory in cooperation with Japanese researchers, reveals a dark spot on our planet, covering Taiwan and surrounding areas, as the moon got directly between the sun and Earth.

The total solar eclipse was the longest one that will occur this century, lasting for up to 6 minutes and 39 seconds. It awed locals and many globetrotting skywatchers who trekked to see it.

"Eclipse in Yichang exceeded expectations," wrote SETI astronomer Seth Shostak on Twitter. "Locals agog, as was I."

  • Video: How Eclipses Work

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