Photobombing is a common prank among family and friends, but in this event of cosmic proportions, our natural satellite – the moon photobombed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) view of the Sun.
NASA posted a short clip on their Sun and Space Twitter handle a few days ago and commented that their Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) noticed a lunar transit as the Moon passed through the satellite’s view of the Sun. The transit lasted for about 50 minutes and at its peak, the moon covered 44 percent of the brightest star in our solar system, they wrote while sharing a GIF clip.
On Oct. 16, our Solar Dynamics Observatory saw a lunar transit in space when the Moon passed through the satellite's view of the Sun. ☀️ The transit lasted about 50 minutes, with the Moon covering about 44% of the Sun at peak. https://t.co/kslpEoBjrw pic.twitter.com/UCGFrS1jXj— NASA Sun & Space (@NASASun) October 19, 2020
During the same time, the Moon which flew by the SDO spacecraft also happened to cover two of the fine guidance sensors causing its view of the Sun to jitter slightly. However, the spacecraft recovered its steady view as soon as the lunar transit ended.
Although the lunar transit activity interrupted the solar view, scientists were able to capture footage from the Sun’s lower half, which displays two active regions. These are the areas where most of the Sun’s magnetic fields are intense and are often associated with solar eruptions.
NASA recently announced that the Sun has entered a new Solar cycle – officially referred to as ‘Solar Cycle 25’. The Sun’s solar cycle is an 11-year cycle when the Sun’s magnetic poles flip and the star transitions between an active to a quiet phase.
Since being posted online, the tweet has received many likes and comments from users.
One user referring to the GIF video clip said it is a much-needed tweet in the morning.
This is the tweet i needed this morning— Tonster, Commisons Open (@Tonster46346_) October 19, 2020
Describing the lunar transit’s photobombing gaffe as an audacious event, another user jokingly wrote this,
Photobombing the sun! Audacious!— Kathleen Ann Conway DA English SUNY Albany (@KathleenAnnCon1) October 20, 2020
Impressed by the cosmic visual, one user said he watched the video with his dark shades on.
wow!!! imean like i saw this with my dark shaders on— Musk Elon (@MuskElon13) October 20, 2020
NASA launched the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in February 2012, the spacecraft helps scientists to understand the Sun’s magnetic cycles and track its radiation heading towards the Earth. It helps to eventually predict when a radiation cycle may impact orbiting satellites and astronauts in space and protect them from its adverse effects.