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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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Space.com Staff
Space.com Staff

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.