This animated gallery depicts solar activity during the day of the solar eclipse on 3 November 2013, as it was observed from three separate observing locations and across various different wavelengths.
A total solar eclipse provides ground-based observers with the rare opportunity of seeing the solar corona, but the terrestrial atmosphere blocks a large portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Observatories in orbit can cover this gap, enabling continuous monitoring of the solar disc in a variety of wavelengths. Extreme-ultraviolet light is covered by the Royal Observatory of Belgium’s SWAP instrument aboard ESA’s Proba-2 minisatellite and the AIA and HMI instruments aboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Ground-based images in white light from Cape Lopez at Port Gentil in Gabon show the solar activity of the lower corona during totality, in a composite image captured from the beginning until the end of the eclipse, about three hours in length.
The satellite images in extreme-ultraviolet wavelengths used in this animation were acquired approximately every 30 minutes and span the entire day of 3 November 2013. The solar corona was visible during the 65 seconds of totality in Gabon at 13:50 GMT, while Proba-2’s SWAP captured images of a partial eclipse several times because the satellite is following a Sun-synchronous orbit that is not in perfect alignment with the Sun and Moon.