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This is What a Solar Eclipse Looks Like to a Weather Satellite


Yesterday, we shared what a total solar eclipse looks like to a weather balloon floating in near space. If you want to zoom out even more, check out this amazing video captured by a weather satellite from outer space.

The video, released by scientists at UW–Madison’s Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC), was captured by the GOES-16, one of the world’s most advanced weather satellites.

The satellite photographed the Earth once every five minutes during the eclipse, and the resulting timelapse video shows the shadow of the moon crossing the United States from west to east.

But that’s not all. GOES-16 has another camera system on board that can capture single-channel, near-infrared images that detect the presence of lightning. Using this camera, the satellite also created a timelapse video showing the moon’s shadow passing through severe weather formations filled with flashes of lightning.

“The first instrument of its kind in geostationary orbit, GLM observes total lightning (both in-cloud and cloud-to-ground), and offers a constant vigil for lightning flashes day and night across the Western Hemisphere,” NOAASatellites writes. “Rapid increases of lightning are a signal that a storm is strengthening and could become more dangerous.”

(via UW-Madison via Fstoppers)