Total eclipse seen from Africa, 2001
22 June 2001

While most observers across Southern Africa and Madagascar watched in awe, scientific teams were hard at work. While zoologists observed the effect on wildlife, solar scientists were able to compare their observations with images from SOHO's unique vantage point.

If you didn't manage to catch the spectacle live you can watch the replay courtesy of BBC online.

Uninterrupted view for SOHO

SOHO/EIT image 21 June 2001-blue
The moon never gets in SOHO's way

Solar scientists were able to compare their observations with real-time images of the Sun taken by the ESA/NASA SOHO spacecraft, in particular the LASCO and EIT instruments - for SOHO there are no nights and the moon never gets in the way!

SOHO/EIT temperature map recorded by EIT on 21 June 2001
A temperature map of the Sun's corona as recorded by the EIT instrument on SOHO

EIT observes the storms in the Sun's atmosphere by ultraviolet light, which is blocked by the Earth's air. LASCO is a visible-light coronagraph that keeps the Sun perpetually eclipsed by masks in its telescopes. Viewing a huge volume of space, LASCO shows how features seen close to the Sun, by ground observers during the eclipse, relate to space weather further out.

Soho image of the solar corona
Perpetual eclipse for SOHO/LASCO
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