The University of Wisconsin put together and animated satellite photos of the Moon’s shadow crossing the Earth on Sunday. The animation lasts only three seconds, but the actual eclipse lasted about five hours. (link via Bad Astronomy)
Seeing the eclipse from space makes me feel different about eclipses. I saw a total solar eclipse when I was little, and it was so weird that night seemed to come in the middle of the day. But here you can see it’s just a shadow briefly passing over your relatively tiny part of the planet.
People have always associated solar eclipses with doom. In ancient times, whole societies panicked during eclipses, and even today they sometimes still do. But eclipses aren’t rare: Every year sees two eclipses that are at least partial.
You’ll see more doomsday predictions in 2015. People will be saying that a solar eclipse over the Atlantic ocean that happens on March 20 (that year’s Jewish new year) has to mean doomsday is near. (They already are.)