Skip to main content

Black Moon solar eclipse looks otherworldly in stunning images

A rare solar eclipse Saturday (April 30) stunned viewers across Antarctica, the southern tip of South America, and the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

While much of the partial solar eclipse of April 30 took place in remote areas, live cameras on Earth and satellites in space allowed people around the world to witness the moon blocking as much as 64% of the sun. The solar eclipse happened during a Black Moon, which is the second new moon in a single month. 

Heliophysicist C. Alex Young, the associate director for science in the heliophysics science division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, broadcast several screenshots of a timeanddate.com (opens in new tab) livestream, which show a gorgeous, seemingly distorted sun with a bite taken out of it.

The eclipse was broadcast from numerous locations across the viewing area, and as Young said in one of his tweets, there are "bonus sunspots" available to look at after an explosive month from our sun. The sun generated several X-class (opens in new tab) (very strong) flares as it slowly moves toward its peak of solar activity in 2025.

Related: Here's a step-by-step guide for making your own solar eclipse viewer (opens in new tab).

See more
See more
See more
See more
See more

The eclipse was also visible from space via a satellite named GOES-16 (GOES-R when it launched in 2016). The satellite charts lightning, severe storms and solar activity on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

While NOAA's Twitter feed was not active over the weekend, the satellite broadcasts footage via the GOES Image Viewer website (opens in new tab) and attentive viewers caught views of the eclipse near real-time from space.

See more
See more

NASA said (opens in new tab) at least part of the eclipse was visible "in Chile, Argentina, most of Uruguay, western Paraguay, southwestern Bolivia, southeastern Peru, and a small area of southwestern Brazil." (That's assuming clear skies.)

Some well-known cities or regions with views of the eclipse included Buenos Aires (Argentina), the Falkland Islands (United Kingdom), Machu Picchu Base (Peru), Montevideo (Uruguay) and Santiago (Chile), according to Unitarium.com (opens in new tab). Also, at least one cruise was active in the eclipsing region via EclipseTours.com (opens in new tab).

See more
See more

The next solar eclipse, also a partial one, will occur on Oct. 25. It will be visible from Europe, northeast Africa, the Middle East and West Asia, according to NASA (opens in new tab). There will be no total solar eclipses this year.

Editor's Note: If you snap an amazing solar eclipse photo and would like to share it with Live Science readers, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to community@livescience.com. (opens in new tab)

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. 

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she tackles topics like spaceflight, diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth's on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc (opens in new tab). in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University. Her latest book, NASA Leadership Moments, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.